During the winter peak in coronavirus cases, things got busy in my hospital, but nothing close to what happened in places like New York City last spring or Los Angeles this winter. Hospitals in these places went way past their capacity, but did this strain on the system lead to worse outcomes? Absolutely.
On today’s podcast, we talk with Brian Block, lead author of a Journal of Hospital Medicine study that showed that patients with COVID-19 admitted to hospitals with larger COVID-19 patient surges had an increased odds of death. We talk about the findings in his study, which also included some variation in the surge hospitals as well as potential reasons behind these outcomes.
We’ve also invited two other guests, Denise Barchas and Sunita Puri, to describe their hospital experiences in a COVID surge. Denise is a ICU nurse at UCSF who volunteered in New York during the spring surge of COVID cases. Sunita is the Medical Director of Palliative Medicine at USC’s Keck Hospital & Norris Cancer Center in Los Angeles. She is also the author of numerous books and essays, including “That Good Night: Life and Medicine in the Eleventh Hour” (if you haven't read it yet you should!)