Hospitals Struggle to Balance COVID and Other Patients

      November 24, 2021 08:51

      Hospitals are struggling to balance the needs of seriously ill coronavirus patients with those of other critically ill people in their ICUs.

      According to analysis by Kim Beom-suk at Seoul National University Hospital, the number cancer patients who died in the emergency room increased by a whopping 86 percent from 53 in 2019 to 99 last year.

      The reason was presumably that all resources were being concentrated on the fight against COVID-19 while other fatal diseases were relatively neglected.

      Medical workers treat coronavirus patients in a hospital in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province on Tuesday. /Yonhap

      The length of time terminal cancer patients spent in emergency rooms increased as they were pushed to the back of the queue and the number of patients who were given vasopressor drugs to keep them alive also increased from 52.3 percent to 59.2 percent.

      The rate of cancer patients who had to be given CPR increased from 12.5 percent to 16.3 percent.

      "It is important to treat coronavirus patients to prevent the spread of the disease, but it is also important to know that other patients are being left unattended because of that,” Kim said.

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