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How are Lee Health doctors and nurses handling spike in COVID patients?

Doctors and nurses help save lives every day, but since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been an even greater emphasis on saving lives from a disease that has taken so many.

Around Memorial Day, there were about 100 patients at Lee Health with coronavirus. Now they are treating 285. Doctors say they may not be able to sustain this uptick.

“We’re seeing about 400 a day, new cases in Lee County and if we end up admitting a third of those patients every day, you can see where the hospitals will become overwhelmed,” said Doctor Larry Hobbs, president of SWFL Emergency Medical Physicians.

Lee Health isn’t the only place where health professionals are worried.

Nurse Gary Mousseau at Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Port Charlotte said, “One nurse per six patients and that should be three or four patients.”

The age of those patients, as we’ve been seeing, has been getting younger. “Now the majority, if not the half, of our patients are of that age group,” Mousseau said.

Health professionals are genuinely concerned about the increase in cases and consequently, their ability to provide care to such a large number of patients.

“If we don’t do anything to prevent this disease by those particular factors, we will see an overwhelmed healthcare system and that’s going to occur all over the United States,” said Hobbs.

Here in SWFL, Lee Health President Larry Antonucci echoes this, saying, “Lee Health hospitals will be completely full by the end of the month.”

But Hobbs does have one request for the community in an attempt to save lives: “Please wear a mask. Certain people are going to lose their lives unnecessarily, so wear a mask.”

Reporter:Andrea Guerrero
Writer:Drew Hill
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