‘We've been emotionally devastated:’ Marshall Medical Centers doctor says Covid deaths taking a toll

'The young man I lost this week was perfectly healthy. He wasn't overweight, he did not have any known medical issues and that was a tragedy,'

Posted: Aug 17, 2021 6:47 PM

A grim statistic.

As of Tuesday, there are 61 COVID-19 inpatients at Marshall Medical Centers. That's the highest number of inpatients the hospitals in Marshall County have ever seen, and it's taking a toll on health care workers there.

Dr. Jenna Carpenter, pulmonary critical care physician

"Losing within a week three patients under the age of 40, just very heartbreaking. Of course, I am going to get emotional talking about this, which I think a lot of people will understand. But it was a very hard week here at the hospital," said
Dr. Jenna Carpenter, pulmonary critical care physician.

Dr. Carpenter has been taking care of the sickest COVID-19 patients at Marshall Medical South since the start of the pandemic. Seeing too many lives lost to this virus.

"The young man I lost this week was perfectly healthy. He wasn't overweight, he did not have any known medical issues and that was a tragedy," she said.

She said the worst phone call to make is a Facetime call with a family member before a patient is put on a ventilator. 

"In our heart, we know this is going to be the last time these folks talk to their families. I've had people reach out to me on Facebook and said you know, Facetime was the last time I saw my dad or my loved one before getting put on the ventilator.

"And that's the message I want folks to hear, is what we're dealing with now is completely different than December and January," said Dr. Carpenter. "Once you get them on the ventilator, I put my hand on their chest and I've literally just cried. It's very hard."

She said it's taking a toll on the staff. 

"We have cried up there in the ICU. We have held on to one another. We've been emotionally devastated," said Dr. Carpenter.

Dr. Carpenter hopes in sharing just a small part of what they are experiencing in the hospitals right now, it will be a wake up call for more people to get the vaccine.

"Vaccination is the only thing that we have that's showing that it can keep people out of the hospital and keep them alive," she said.

Dr. Carpenter also said having to take care of coronavirus patients is impacting the care of other patients. 

Right now, there are no ICU beds available at Marshall Medical North or South.

Eighty-nine percent of coronavirus inpatients at Marshall Medical Centers are unvaccinated.

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