Michigan Medicine cancels surgery during COVID surge
As of Wednesday, Michigan Medicine has cancelled at least 40 operations this week in response to the latest surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Managers told reporters during a media conference call on Wednesday that the Ann Arbor Health System is withdrawing personnel and resources from its surgical team to help treat 93 COVID-19 inpatients and the rising number of emergency room patients.
Managers held a conference call to solicit the public to be vaccinated.
“Patients who have not undergone surgery in time are dying,” said Marshall Lange, CEO and Dean of the School of Medicine at Michigan Medical School. “(People who have not been vaccinated) are risking the lives of others, and they may die from preventable diseases that do not have access to medical care.”
David Miller, a doctor and president of the University of Michigan Health System, said the current surge has overwhelmed its system, leaving it with no choice but to cancel the operation. Coupled with the ongoing labor shortage—the system has more than 400 vacant positions—Michigan Medicine also closed the intensive care beds of its pediatric hospital to ensure that its emergency and intensive care units are better staffed.
Miller also said that capacity issues have also reduced the number of monoclonal antibody treatments it can perform on COVID-positive patients. Studies have shown that antibody therapy can reduce the hospitalization rate of high-risk patients with comorbidities by 70%.
“The vast majority (covid-19 hospitalized patients) are not vaccinated,” Miller said. “Our team is tired, if not exhausted. We need your help.”
Miller said patients who were vaccinated in the hospital had other serious diseases that put them at risk and were older, and many of those who were not vaccinated were younger and were in good health before infection.
Nancy Miller, the chief nurse of the health system, said that as of December 5, none of the nine COVID patients who used ventilators in the system had been vaccinated, causing intensive care personnel to suffer “compassion fatigue.”
The statewide breakthrough cases continue to rise, accounting for 29% of the state’s cases since November. However, breakthrough infections that occurred in vaccinated people accounted for less than a quarter of all deaths in the past 30 days.
Between April 4 and October 2, unvaccinated people are 5.8 times more likely to contract COVID-19 than vaccinated people. According to national dataThe multiplier increases the mortality rate. People who have not been vaccinated are 14 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than those who have been vaccinated.
However, Michigan Medicine is facing its own vaccine problem, because the system was forced to suspend access to 9,571 union employees after a federal judge temporarily suspended the vaccine mission of the Medicare and Medicaid Services Center, which will take effect on January 4. Vaccine mission.
The union covers most of the nursing staff at the Michigan Medical School and reached a negotiated agreement last year to prevent them from complying with the requirements of the health system. Michigan Medicine installed its own vaccine authorization before the federal government. Its authorization took effect last month.
As of Wednesday, approximately 92% of non-union employees were vaccinated, and approximately 4.4% (that is, 1,037 employees) received medical or religious exemptions without the need for vaccinations. Approximately 3.6%, or 848 employees who did not comply with the regulations, have been terminated or suspended.
Infection Control Medical Director Laraine Washer said that nurses who are not covered by the company’s vaccine authorization do not need to report their vaccine status to the health system, but more than 83% of nurses report that they are indeed vaccinated.
This story first appeared in our sister publication, Crane’s Detroit business.