‘We just sit there and hold their hands,’ frontline nurse says of COVID-19 patients


Nurse Carly Thomas was among the first health care workers assigned to her western Pennsylvania hospital’s COVID-19 unit in March.



a sign on a city street filled with lots of traffic: A sign over route 28 north of downtown Pittsburgh alerts out of state motorists to Pennsylvania Covid-19 travel restrictions on Nov. 24, 2020.


© Gene J. Puskar/AP
A sign over route 28 north of downtown Pittsburgh alerts out of state motorists to Pennsylvania Covid-19 travel restrictions on Nov. 24, 2020.

“That day, those nurses prayed,” Thomas, who has worked at Excela Westmoreland Hospital for nine years, told ABC News Pittsburgh affiliate WTAE. “Then they just instantly started to plan what we were going to do and how we were going to take care of these patients.”

MORE: 4 months after Dr. Fauci’s prediction, US hits 100,000 new COVID cases in a single day

Today, the 15-bed COVID-19 unit Thomas works in is full, and nurses are faced with an emotionally taxing responsibility: video-calling dying patients’ families so they can say goodbye.

“I’ve held the patient’s hand while they die,” Thomas said. “I’ve FaceTimed

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Hospitals stretched beyond ‘reasonable limit’ as number of Covid-19 patients reaches 100,000


While Americans are eagerly awaiting coronavirus vaccines to be authorized, doctors and nurses across the US are facing a difficult truth as hospitals try to find creative ways to handle the surging number of patients that exceeds 100,000 nationwide.



a group of people in a room: FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2020, file photo, EMT Giselle Dorgalli, second from right, looks at a monitor while performing chest compression on a patient who tested positive for coronavirus in the emergency room at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles. Amid the coronavirus resurgence, states have begun reopening field hospitals to handle an influx of sick patients that is pushing health care systems — and their workers — to the breaking point. Hospitals are bringing in mobile morgues. And funerals are once again being livestreamed or performed as drive-by affairs. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)


© Jae C. Hong/AP
FILE – In this Nov. 19, 2020, file photo, EMT Giselle Dorgalli, second from right, looks at a monitor while performing chest compression on a patient who tested positive for coronavirus in the emergency room at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles. Amid the coronavirus resurgence, states have begun reopening field hospitals to handle an influx of sick patients that is pushing health care systems — and their workers — to the breaking point. Hospitals are bringing in mobile morgues. And funerals are once again being livestreamed or performed as drive-by affairs. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

One county official

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The U.S. Has Spent Billions Stockpiling Ventilators, but Many Won’t Save Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients | Top News


(Reuters) – With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across its shores earlier this year, the U.S. government in April announced orders for almost $3 billion of ventilators for a national stockpile, meant to save Americans suffering from severe respiratory problems brought on by the disease.

But of the 140,000 machines added since then by the government to the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile, almost half were basic breathing devices that don’t meet what medical specialists say are the minimum requirements for ventilators needed to treat Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, the main cause of death among COVID-19 patients, according to a Reuters review of publicly-available device specifications and interviews with doctors and industry executives.

Only about 10% are full intensive care unit (ICU) ventilators of a type that doctors and ventilator specialists say they would normally use to intubate patients suffering from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome or ARDS, the Reuters review found. The

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Weight-loss surgery often rids patients of Type 2 diabetes


Weight-loss surgery conquers Type 2 diabetes in more than 50% of patients who have the procedure, new research shows.

So-called bariatric surgery helps severely obese people shed weight and improve their health. Two types of weight-loss surgery are lap band surgery (in which a band around the top of the stomach creates a pouch that can only hold a small amount of food) and gastric bypass. The bypass surgery reduces stomach size, causes hormonal changes and can lower the amount of nutrients absorbed from food.

“If a patient with Type 2 diabetes is considering weight-loss surgery, choosing gastric bypass soon after diagnosis can increase their chance of remission or achieving a blood sugar level that does not need treatment,” said study author Dr. Jonathan Purnell. He’s a professor of medicine at Oregon Health & Science University, in Portland.

“Our large study confirms the importance of weight loss on inducing diabetes

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Weight-Loss Surgery Often Rids Patients of Type 2 Diabetes | Health News


By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Weight-loss surgery conquers type 2 diabetes in more than 50% of patients who have the procedure, new research shows.

So-called bariatric surgery helps severely obese people shed weight and improve their health. Two types of weight-loss surgery are lap band surgery (in which a band around the top of the stomach creates a pouch that can only hold a small amount of food) and gastric bypass. The bypass surgery reduces stomach size, causes hormonal changes and can lower the amount of nutrients absorbed from food.

“If a patient with type 2 diabetes is considering weight-loss surgery, choosing gastric bypass soon after diagnosis can increase their chance of remission or achieving a blood sugar level that does not need treatment,” said study author Dr. Jonathan Purnell. He’s a professor of medicine at Oregon Health & Science University, in

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Study finds high dose vitamin D does not help covid patients survive




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Scientists have been looking hopefully to vitamin D as a promising supplement to help lower COVID-19 risks, but a new study suggests that it may be as effective as hoped. 

Research conducted around the world has found that people who get enough vitamin D were at lower risk of catching coronavirus, becoming severely ill from it or even dying of the infection. 

Although that finding was consistent across a great number of studies, most of them looked only at levels of vitamin D and how well patients fared against COVID-19, or compared coronavirus patients who had already been taking vitamin D to those who had not. 

New research from the University of Sao Paulo, in Brazil, found actually treated severely ill COVID-19 patients with high-dose vitamin D, and compared how their illnesses progressed to patients who got a placebo. 

Disappointingly, there was no

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Strong immune response found in asymptomatic patients; virus crosses throat membrane into brain




a close up of a flower: FILE PHOTO: A computer image created by Nexu Science Communication together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus which is the type of virus linked to COVID-19


© Reuters/Social Media
FILE PHOTO: A computer image created by Nexu Science Communication together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus which is the type of virus linked to COVID-19

By Nancy Lapid

(Reuters) – The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

Immune system responds strongly in asymptomatic COVID-19

Asymptomatic people infected with COVID-19 are mounting robust immune responses that differ from responses in those who become ill, according to a study that appears to contradict previous thinking by health experts. Researchers studied immune system T cells in 76 symptomatic COVID-19 patients and 85 infected individuals without symptoms and reported their findings on Friday on bioRxiv ahead of peer review. Some of these cells – CD8+ T cells – can

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Exercise is proven to aid cancer treatments, so why don’t patients have subsidised access to rehab?


At Sydney’s iconic Bondi Icebergs pool, on a crisp spring morning, Siobhan O’Toole and Donna Moclair look like seasoned swimmers used to the waves crashing over them as they do laps.

Few would realise both women have been in the fight of their lives with a cancer diagnosis.

And that exercise has been their lifeline.

Siobhan had an aunt who died from breast cancer at 40, so she decided to get screened earlier than doctors recommend.

“I thought I might be high risk and unfortunately, when I was 40 they found triple negative breast cancer,” she said.

Triple negative breast cancer is notoriously difficult to treat.

Always active, she got involved

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Patients of a Vermont Hospital Are Left ‘in the Dark’ After Cyberattack


Others reported ransom demands “in eight figures, which is just not something that regional health care systems can do,” said Allan Liska, an analyst with Recorded Future, a cybersecurity firm. These unusual demands, combined with the coordination of the attacks, make “it seem that it was meant to be a disruptive attack” rather than a profit-seeking one, he said.

Mr. Holden said many of the health systems opted to negotiate with their extortionists, even as ransoms jump into the millions.

“A great number of victims are dealing with these attacks on their own,” he said.

In Vermont, the damage radiated out through a sprawling network, hitting especially hard in the cancer center.

“My really good friends are I.C.U. nurses, and they’re like, no big deal, all we have to do is paper charting,” Ms. Cargill, the charge nurse, said. But the cancer center was badly set

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As Hospitals Strain Under Influx Of COVID-19 Patients, Deaths Are Climbing : Shots


Medical staff prepare for an intubation procedure on a COVID-19 patient in a Houston intensive care unit. In some parts of the U.S., as hospitals get crowded, hospital leaders are worried they may need to implement crisis standards of care.

Go Nakamura/Getty Images


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Medical staff prepare for an intubation procedure on a COVID-19 patient in a Houston intensive care unit. In some parts of the U.S., as hospitals get crowded, hospital leaders are worried they may need to implement crisis standards of care.

Go Nakamura/Getty Images

Far more people in the U.S. are hospitalized for COVID-19 now than at any other moment of the coronavirus pandemic — more than twice as many as just a month ago.

Hospitals in some of the hardest-hit states are exhausting every health care worker, hospital room and piece of equipment to evade the worst-case scenario, when crisis

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