My triple vaxxed, 85 year old mother caught COVID. Medical triage has made her doctor useless.

COVID-19 has been intense for the past two years The lives of 840,000 Americans who have disappeared, I read about the burden that the pandemic has put on our doctors and nurses. But until last month, when my parents were infected with COVID-19, I didn’t fully understand our healthcare system, the frayed rope.

The phone I was afraid of for nearly two years came from my mother on the morning of December 27, 2021. Symptoms such as coughing, dyspnea, chest tightness, body aches, and malaise were too familiar.

After a 10-minute dispute that tried to convince me that she had the worst cold ever, I won and she underwent a COVID-19 test. It was positive.

When my mother started teaching at college in the 80’s, she started using college hospitals for her medical needs. Given the high rank of the hospital, I was convinced that my mother’s COVID-19 infection could receive excellent treatment. Boy, I was wrong.

Difficult to get treatment

The problem started when my mother contacted her doctor, but realized she was on vacation. She was qualified and the university said her doctor would call her. Instead, I got a call from a nurse who basically instructed my mother not to come to the hospital unless something catastrophic, such as her blood oxygen falling below a safe level, happened. ..

End the crazy vaccine duty. A COVID positive nurse is in our hospital. However, Biden’s mission prohibits unvaccinated ones.

An 85-year-old woman has other serious medical conditions, suffers from a deadly viral infection that can attack the lungs, and complains of chest tightness. No one is interested in pressing the stethoscope against the chest and listening. ??

I was involved when it became clear that I couldn’t rely on the hospital other than arranging a “catch before cementing” visit to the emergency room.I suggested a prescription NirmatrelvilleThe Pfizer pill, recently approved by the FDA, is very much according to many news reports. effective For the treatment of COVID-19.

Inbox Opinion: Get a digest of our views on the current event every day

The nurse I talked to didn’t seem to know anything about it, but the next day he came back to me saying that the drug supply was limited, and the doctor we got it. I couldn’t do anything to help put it in.

I also got a doctor to my mom Monoclonal antibody therapy This is highly valued for the fact that former President Donald Trump saved his life when he was infected with COVID-19. Open to the public 1 year. Things went off track here.

Monoclonal antibody therapy

The nurse said my mother’s age and medical condition were eligible to treat her, but the doctor’s prescription wasn’t enough because of the limited supply. A inquiry I had to ask a group of doctors to decide which patient to administer the life-saving drug. He made a referral and assured us that the group in charge of treatment would contact us within 24 hours.

Twenty-four, 48, 72, and 96 hours have passed since then, but there have been no contacts from people who have approved monoclonal antibody therapy.Every day was an emotional pain because of the loss of treatment effect As time passes from infection to injection. You could even understand the phone call, “I have 50 people in front of my mom, so I don’t have three days to treat her.”

By the middle of the week, my dad got sick with the same symptoms. He called for almost two hours just to arrange a PCR test for the parking lot. My dad also received antibody treatment.

As the sun went down, I emailed and called a nurse who was juggling a patient for his parents’ vacation doctor. He was sympathetic, but said he could not provide contact information for the monoclonal antibody group. He told me to be patient and relieved, a phone call will come. He also told me that my mother’s doctor would call to check her. A week later, neither phone came.

What came was a suggestion that I would continue Websites with over 100 lists of monoclonal antibodies Treatment center The whole state. And after countless hours of elevator music, deposited voice emails, and phone transfers, my slogan began. All of this was an effort to ensure treatment that could save the lives of parents.

Michael J. Stern

Michael J. Stern

Eventually, I found a center that would provide treatment. Don’t worry that it was almost 70 miles away or New Year’s Eve, we went. And although my father’s PCR test results hadn’t returned yet, he said he was positive to the hospital because he didn’t want to miss the opportunity. A positive test was done while he was on the drip. We are very grateful to the facility that treated him, but we gave intensive COVID treatment to patients who did not test positive for COVID-19.

Rethink your approach to a pandemic

I think the US healthcare system is surrounded by a highly contagious variant of Omicron that is sick even for triple-bucked people like my parents. But at this point, American healthcare feels like the Archetypal Old West.

I put most of my responsibilities firmly on the anti-boxer. They closely follow people who wear masks as chin straps. But to be honest, President Joe Biden’s administration has some responsibilities.

I criticized Trump Because it could not be used effectively Defense Production Act (DPA) Force private companies to manufacture more personal protective equipment in the early stages of a the meantime Biden uses DPA Much more aggressive than playing cards, access to life-saving COVID treatments shouldn’t feel like an episode of The Hunger Games.

Where can I find all the COVID-19 test kits? USA transitioned from Operation Warp Speed ​​to Biden’s snail speed in COVID test

And it’s not just the medicine that’s missing. A few weeks ago, I went to five drugstores to get a COVID test at home. The shelves looked like what I found on Best Buy five minutes before Black Friday closed. On the way back, I passed an Italian restaurant with a line of about 30 people. I love Italian food and I kept in mind to come back to dinner to see why it was so popular. It turns out that 30 people were actually lined up at the next pop-up COVID test site.While the White House is buying 500 million COVID test Home testing should have been a previous priority for free distribution this month.

Now my parents seem to be stable. But learn lessons from my misery. Before you get sick, build a network of family and friends who agree to help if you get COVID. When you get sick, you lose power.

And warning: In this era of medical triage, people cannot rely on doctors or hospitals to provide safe medical care. If you don’t have a medical advocate, you’re confused.

Michael J, a member of USA TODAY’s board of directors. Stern was a federal prosecutor for 25 years in Detroit and Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter: @ MichaelJStern1..

You can read diverse opinions from us Contributor Committee And other writers Opinion front page, On Twitter @usatodayopinion And in us Daily Opinion Newsletter.. To reply to a column, please send a comment to [email protected]

This article was originally published in USA TODAY: From COVID pills to monoclonal antibodies, hospital triage treatment