LEXINGTON, Ky. — A Lexington doctor is expressing his frustrations with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the delta variant.
The emergency physician and EMS medical director said he’s not only fighting vaccine misinformation now it’s combating space for hospitals beds.
Dr. Ryan Stanton is riding in the passenger seat while his fellow paramedic drives around Lexington addressing any calls that could come in.
"Probably about 20 to 25% of all my cases I'm seeing in the emergency department are COVID [-19] related right now. And the unfortunate aspect is so many of them are unvaccinated. In fact, I've only admitted I believe two that are vaccinated and admitting probably four per shift that are that are unvaccinated," Dr. Stanton said.
Stanton is an emergency physician at Baptist Health and an EMS medical director in town.
His frustrations are mounting.
"Our local hospitals here have gotten calls from Alabama, and Texas, and Florida about bed availability because of beds not being available elsewhere," Dr. Stanton said. "We don't have the bed either, and now we're seeing cancellations or delays in elective procedures which means other people completely unrelated to COVID [-19] are having their health issues being put off because of the pandemic and, you know, we all thought we were kind of, we were through it, but we never reached the numbers we needed to with the vaccine, and then with the, with the delta variant, it showed us what nature can do, which is it changes a little bit, and then it comes in and just wreaks havoc, which is what we're seeing right now."
He said the last 18 months have been hard and with cases rising so is the exhaustion and admissions.
"Here in Lexington, you probably have 200 people in our hospitals that are fighting COVID [-19] just looking at the numbers from UK and Baptist and St. Joe (seph's) you know I think likely if we put them all together, we probably have about 200 Fayette County residents and citizens that are in the hospital, which is just a very small tip of the iceberg," Dr. Stanton said.
His bottom-line message is simple.
"If everyone got their vaccine, we could cut those admissions by 90%," Dr. Stanton said.
He also said his biggest concern now lies in young people. He predicts there could be a rise in pediatric COVID-19 cases.
"That’s one of the things right now is our volume is up 20% versus our pre-COVID [-19] baseline. And so everybody's just super fatigued and frustrated because every day you get to work, you know, you're just gonna get bludgeoned," Dr. Stanton said.