Some doctors and nurses in Arkansas say they are dealing with burnout and post-traumatic stress disorder after more than a year of battling the coronavirus pandemic, including a new wave of cases with younger patients.
Dr. Kathy Parnell, an internal medicine specialist at Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that she cried every day last week because she is losing young patients.
“It’s so different from the first time, just the young, and they are not responding to the treatments that we know of,” Parnell said.
COVID-19 cases continued to spread across Arkansas, due in part to the more contagious delta variant. Hospitals have continued to fill up with patients as the state’s vaccination rate remains one of the lowest in the country.
Public health officials say that nearly 100% of the deaths since January could have been prevented with vaccines, the newspaper reported.
“This current increase is the worst mass casualty event I have seen in my career of more than 30 years, which includes being a medic in the US Army for many years before entering civilian practice,” said the Dr. Gregory “Scott” Harrington, a physician at Baptist Health Medical Center in North Little Rock, said in a Facebook post.
The Arkansas Department of Health reported 1,984 new cases Sunday for a total of 388,436 since the pandemic began. State health authorities also reported that 1,139 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, an increase of 34 from Saturday.
“Vaccine numbers are up from last week. If you have concerns about the vaccine, speak to those you trust to learn the facts. The vaccine is saving lives,” the governor said. Asa Hutchinson said in a tweet on Sunday.
Hutchinson has toured the entire state promoting the coronavirus vaccine. On Sunday, vaccinations in Arkansas increased by 7,149.