Dobbs: People are ‘absolutely’ going to die because they don’t have access to care

Published: Aug. 6, 2021 at 4:04 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Officials with the Mississippi State Medical Association hosted their weekly meeting with State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs on Friday.

According to Dobbs, what is most concerning is who is entering the ICU and who is dying from COVID-19. The age group now with the highest mortality numbers are those 50 to 64.

Dobbs said this speaks to the benefits of the older population being vaccinated, because this age group has the highest rate of immunization.

“It’s astounding to me,” Dobbs stated, “that our 50-year-old people are dying at higher rates than our 65 and older. It’s pretty amazing.”

Dr. Mark Horne, president of the Mississippi State Medical Association, also revealed in the meeting that earlier this week in his hospital, they had 12 ICU patients who were on ventilators. Of those 12, the oldest was 69 and the youngest was 28. The average age of the patients was 49.

“They were all sick as stink,” Horn said. “And not all of them are gonna make it.”

Dobbs added to this, saying that the people on the ventilators were not people with underlying medical conditions, classifying them as people “who are doing their jobs everyday” and “working hard outdoors.”

“Now they’re laid up on life support,” Dobbs said. “It’s a real tragedy unfolding before our eyes.”

The question was also offered as to the affect on the healthcare system due to the recent wave of coronavirus patients. To this, Dobbs described it as toilet paper: “You can run out.”

Dobbs pointed out that the state is already at crisis standard of care. Because of this, doctors are now having to do things that they wouldn’t under normal circumstances.

On Wednesday, there were only 6 open ICU beds in the state of Mississippi. At the University of Mississippi Medical Center, some patients are having to wait for beds. This because the hospital is full and because of a serious staffing shortage among nurses and other healthcare workers.

Dobbs described the new Delta variant as a tsunami sweeping over the entire state. He said things will only get worse.

“Are people gonna die because they don’t have access to care?” he asked. “Absolutely. People aren’t gonna get timely access to care and it’s gonna lead to a loss of life.”

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