'Help us help you': UNC Health Southeastern Doctor pleads for more vaccinations
"We're really hurting and we're just calling out to the community that have not been vaccinated to make a different choice, to help us help you," said Dr. Robin Peace with UNC Health Southeastern.
PATIENTS ARE BEING TREATED IN AN ICU. 41% OF ALL PEOPLE IN ICUs TONIGHT ARE BATTLING COVID >>> DR. ROBIN PIECE JOINS US FROM ROBESON COUNTY. WE ARE HEARING ABOUT BEDS FILLING UP ACROSS THE STATE AND NATION, HOW SERIOUS IS IT AT YOUR HOSPITAL RIGHT NOW? >> IT IS EXTREMELY SERIOUS, WE HAVE BEEN IN OVERFLOW SITUATION FOR WEEKS. TODAY, ALL OF OUR STAFF BEDS WERE FULL. WE HAD SEVEN BED OVERFLOW UNIT WE ARE STAFFING WITH NURSES AND TECHS FROM RESOURCES SO WE ARE REALLY HURTING AND CALLING OUT TO THE COMMUNITY THAT HAVE NOT BEEN VACCINATED TO MAKE A DIFFERENT CHOICE, TO HELP US HELP YOU. >> SOME HOSPITALS LIMITING ELECTIVE PROCEDURES TO TREAT COVID PATIENT. HAS UNC HEALTH SOUTHEAST MADE CHANGES? >> WE HAVE A DEDICATED FLOOR FOR COVID PATIENTS I CAN HAVE 34 PATIENTS ON. WE DON'T HAVE THE RESOURCES RIGHT NOW IN ORDER TO STAFF THAT. OUR OTHER PATIENTS ARE SCATTERED ON OUR OTHER FLOORS AND HOSPITAL AT THIS TIME IN ISOLATION BRINGS. WE HAVE NOT STOPPED ELECTIVE PROCEDURES BUT THAT IS ALWAYS A CONCERN. WE JUST URGE THE COMMUNITY OF UNVACCINATED PEOPLE TO MAKE A DIFFERENT CHOICE. >> YEAH, YOU CAN'T SAY THAT ENOUGH. IS THERE A DIFFERENCE IN COVID PATIENTS YOUR ADMITTING RIGHT NOW COMPARED TO EARLIER IN THE PANDEMIC? >> IT IS DIFFERENT. WITH THE DELTA VARIANT, WE ARE SEEING A LOT YOUNGER PATIENTS, PATIENTS IN THEIR 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s BEING HOSPITALIZED AND FIGHTING FOR THEIR LIVES WITH COVID. THIS IS NO LONGER A PANDEMIC THAT ATTACKS JUST OLDER PEOPLE, WE ARE SEEING YOUNGER PATIENTS GET THIS. >> YOU TOUCHED ON THIS EARLIER, WHAT KIND OF STRAIN DOES IS PUT ON THE REST OF THE HOSPITAL AND YOUR WORKERS? >> I MEAN, WE ARE TIRED. WE SIGNED UP FOR THIS JOB BUT WITH GOING AT FULL CAPACITY, MY COLLEAGUES THAT ARE TAKING CARE OF COVID POSITIVE PATIENTS IN THE HOSPITAL, WE ARE TIRED. WE ARE MENTALLY EXHAUSTED AND WE ARE FRUSTRATED BECAUSE WE HAVE THIS ADDITIONAL STRESS AS WE TRY TO CARE, WE HAVE LACK OF RESOURCES BECAUSE WITH THIS, IT JUST CONTINUES. IT HAS BEEN 18 MONTHS. WE THOUGHT THE LAST SURGE WOULD BE A AND NOW THERE IS THIS THE VERY THAT IS SO MUCH MORE CONTAGIOUS AND WE ARE FINDING IT TO BE MUCH MORE DEADLY. PEOPLE ARE GETTING SICK VERY RAPIDLY WITH THE DELTA VARIANT. >> I CAN HEAR THE FRUSTRATION IN YOUR VOICE. WE APPRECIATE ALL THAT YOU DO. MY LAST QUESTION AS WE MOVE FORWARD TO MAKE YOU THINK HOSPITALIZATIONS WILL CONTINUE TO CLIMB OR ARE WE CLOSE TO IT PEAK? >> WE HAVE BEEN TOLD WITH THE UNC NETWORK THAT WE CAN EXPECT THE PEAK TO BE POSSIBLY THE END OF SEPTEMBER OR EARLY OCTOBER. THAT IS EXTREMELY CONCERNING TO US. BUT WE ARE WORKING TOGETHER AS A TEAM WHEN ONE OF US HURTS, WE ALL HURT AND WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER. I JUST HAVE TO SAY AGAIN, TO THE COMMUNITY OF PEOPLE THAT ARE UNVACCINATED, TO LOOK AT THE REAL FACTS AND NOT UTILIZE SOCIAL MEDIA TO GET YOUR INFORMATION. TALK TO YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER AND CONSIDER MAKING A DIFFERENT CHOICE. HELP US HELP YOU.