Lee Health discusses rising COVID-19 death rates

Reporter: Sydney Persing Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News

Six more people lost their battles with COVID-19 in Lee Health hospitals on Monday. Now, the total number of deaths in one week in one hospital system has risen to 54.

Many of those dying lately are young and unvaccinated people. For doctors, they say part of the job is seeing people die. But now, the job is changing because more people are dying.

When Lee Health Dr. Jordan Taillon joined the Intensive Care Unit, he was aware of the average overall mortality rate. About 10% of the people that go into the ICU never make it out.

“It started flipping here, your survival rates,” said Dr. Taillon. “Now we’re starting to see a higher and higher rate of mortality. once these patients come into the ICU, and go on the ventilator, we’re not having great success getting them off the ventilator.”

COVID-19 has changed the ICU, not just because it’s overrun with patients but because the amount of people dying is closing in on the number of survivors.

Doctors feel that many of these deaths are preventable. And while there have been many tough moments, for some doctors, watching young, healthy people die is difficult.

“There’s been a lot uh…there was a young gentleman in his twenties,” said Dr. Taillon. “I went and had the talk with him about going on the ventilator, his heart rate starting going way up it was only a matter of time before his body collapsed.”

“We did have enough time, to get him on facetime with his mom. But he’s asking me, ‘am I gonna die?’ and not being able to give him an answer. You can’t lie to him and say we can 100% get you off, the best thing you can say is we’re going to try to save your life. He was crying, he was scared, that was probably the worst moment of COVID for me,” he said.

That young man did not survive. And, in the end, according to Dr. Taillon, the only thing on that patient’s mind was his mom.

Dr. Taillon says the ICU is currently overrun and overworked and there isn’t any relief in sight.

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