One of the greatest fears underlying the COVID-19 pandemic has been that the healthcare system would be overwhelmed with the sheer numbers of patients, and others needing care would have to be turned away. Now that the Delta variant is surging in California and other areas of the country, some hospitals have been forced to ration care. Despite the crowding in hospitals the pandemic has caused, you can still receive treatment if you have been injured in an accident.
What Are the Current Developments With the Delta Variant?
In Santa Barbara County, 62.6% of people who are eligible to be vaccinated have been vaccinated, as stated in a News Channel article. During this fourth wave of COVID-19 cases, vaccinated people are less likely to get the virus, according to public health officials. The California regions being hardest hit with COVID-19 hospitalizations are the San Joaquin Valley, the Sacramento area, and the rural northern part of the state, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. Hospitals in these areas and their systems are being overwhelmed by enormous numbers of patients needing care.
How Full Are Hospital Beds in California and the U.S.?
As stated by the New York Times:
- 784 hospitals in the U.S. (approximately one in four) recently reported that at least 95% of their ICU (intensive care unit) beds were full.
- An average of 79% of ICU hospital beds were occupied nationwide in the week ending September 30, 2021.
- The California state average ICU bed occupancy is 78%, compared to the national average of 68%.
- Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital is at 100% ICU occupancy.
- Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital is at 77% ICU occupancy.
When Should Accident Victims Receive Treatment for Their Injuries?
If you have been involved in an accident, it is important to seek prompt medical attention, despite the global pandemic. Emergency rooms remain open to care for communities, and some health situations cannot wait. Examples of conditions that may require emergency medical treatment include:
- Animal bites
- Broken bones
- Severe bleeding
- Major head injuries
- Loss of consciousness
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- High fever
- Blurred vision or loss of vision
How Can Accident Victims Get Treatment During the Delta Variant Wave?
ERs are taking extra precautions, such as requiring visitors and staff to wear masks, screening with no-touch thermometers, limiting the number of people in waiting rooms, deep cleaning facilities, and isolating individuals with COVID-19 symptoms. They are also providing non-emergency care through telemedicine – a video or phone call instead of an in-person visit. This type of care may be appropriate, for example, to get treatment for colds, flus, sinus infections, allergies, rashes, and urinary tract infections. Telemedicine care means fewer patients in hospitals and emergency rooms.
How Can You Keep Yourself Safe When You Need Medical Treatment?
In non-urgent care situations, take advantage of telemedicine opportunities when available. On the other hand, if your injuries require urgent care, you can help keep yourself safe by:
- Wearing a medical grade, disposable mask
- Maintaining six feet of distance between yourself and other people whenever possible
- Washing your hands with soap and water, thoroughly and frequently
- Using 70% alcohol hand sanitizer between hand washings
- Staying away from people with symptoms of COVID-19 or any other contagious disease
Why Choose Us to Represent You?
Our firm was founded in 1993. The Santa Barbara personal injury lawyers at NordstrandBlack PC have more than three decades of experience successfully representing injured people. If you have been seriously injured through someone else’s negligence, we have the resources and the trial experience with large insurance companies and government entities to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us at (805) 962-2022 to schedule a free consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay us no fees until we win a recovery for you.