A young attending physician at the CHA Everett hospital on Monday gave a peek to the entire country as to what’s happening in the city’s local hospital, and it was shocking and difficult news.
Dr. Erin Beaumont is an attending physician at the CHA Everett Emergency Room, and last week she kept a video diary from Monday, March 23, to Sunday, March 29, about her shifts in the ER on hospital hill. On Monday night, portions of her diary were shown on the ABC national news, and she goes through what she describes as waiting for the inevitable, to worrying about her personal safety to getting deluged with patients early on Sunday.
“At one point this evening, we just got overwhelmed,” she said on her video diary around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday. “It all happened at once – ambulance after ambulance. Our Intensive Care Units are full, our floors are full and the ER is full.”
The diary starts with her on Tuesday afternoon getting ready to go into her shift, noting that the ICU had been full the previous day. After that shift, she talks intimately about a patient that is her age who had been admitted to the hospital with breathing problems and was presumed to be positive for COVID-19.
“He is my age, a healthy person who I admitted because I felt he was COVID-19 positive due to his labored breathing,” she said. “It’s heartbreaking though and hard because he is my age and young and healthy. I really hope we don’t see more and more like this.”
That next day, she reported he was in the ICU getting treatment.
On Thursday, things had progressed, but the waiting game was on.
“We’re just waiting and waiting and waiting for the inevitable increases in patients that we know is going to happen,” she said. “It eats at you…and the prospect of this country being open by Easter…is ridiculous and dangerous.”
On Friday, she talks about being worried as to whether there is enough equipment for her.
“My mom asked if I had enough PPE for myself and the answer is that I don’t know,” she said. “The question comes about where do you draw the line between protecting yourself and helping your patients…I do have asthma and I worry if I get sick I won’t do well.”
Her next entry that aired showed her overwhelmed around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, saying they had been overwhelmed by a surge of patients.
“It happened all at once – ambulance after ambulance,” she said.