Viewpoint: ICU physician details what COVID front lines are like 3 years in

Fewer COVID cases, more methodical treatments and less stress are just a few things one ICU physician reports now that the world is entering year three of the pandemic and more is known about the virus.

"It feels like we have a path and an algorithm, and ways that we know we can save people," Isabel Pedraza, MD, director of the intensive care unit at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, told The Atlantic.

The patients who do enter the ICU with severe COVID-19 cases, Dr. Pedraza said, are typically what physicians would expect: unvaccinated individuals or those who are either elderly or have another underlying condition.

"A couple of years ago, even last year, there were still questions," she told The Atlantic. "We went from not having any idea of how to manage this to really having good ways of managing it, and being able to improve outcomes."

However, she noted, patients who are in the ICU and do not test positive for COVID-19 seem to be much more ill with other viruses than before, and the overall number of patients visiting ICUs in general seems to be higher — despite fewer COVID cases. 

"It's not just respiratory viruses; it's a higher level of acuity for all illnesses," Dr. Pedraza told The Atlantic. "It's not just here — we're seeing it across the country. I'm not sure what the explanation is for that."


Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars