LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. – These days, every day is a battle for Dr. Kirsten Calder, the lead physician of emergency medicine at Los Alamitos Medical Center.
She says the emergency department has been busy with an upsurge of COVID-19 patients.
This comes as hospitals around the nation continue to deal with PPE shortages.
Dr. Calder says she and her team of front-liners are doing what they can to make the most of what they have.
“Just in the last two to three weeks, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in our cases and we’re now back to our baseline numbers, as far as patient numbers go, and we’re seeing a lot of COVID,” Dr. Calder said.
And as COVID cases continue to rise, so does the need for adequate PPE.
Dr. Calder says she and her team are finding ways to ensure protective equipment does not go to waste.
“We do have to be cautious in how we use that PPE. So we do try to use the same N95 each day. And the way we can do that is to actually get just a non-N95 surgical mask and put it over our N95. We can change that out between patients. That allows us to not be using a different N95 with every patient encounter,” she explained.
Patient encounters these days, also include an influx of younger individuals.
With symptoms varying from person to person, Dr. Calder has a clear message for the public:
“It is absolutely imperative for people to wear the masks, and socially distance. That’s the way we are going to get through this, the most safely, and the quickest.”