Local COVID-19 hospital stays tend to be younger, according to Omaha Health Systems

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – All three health systems in the Omaha area report seeing younger and younger patients, many of them with no underlying medical conditions.

Sarah Kanoy is a nurse who works on the COVID-19 floor of Nebraska Medicine.

“It’s very hard to look down and see someone so young and just hope and pray that we can help them with that.”

In the past few weeks, Nebraska Medicine has had to make more room for COVID-19 patients.

“We were the only unit that took in Covid patients. In the past few weeks we’ve had to make some adjustments and move to another location in the hospital, ”said Sarah Kanoy, COVID-19 nurse with Nebraska Medicine.

She says the big difference between now and our peak in November is the age involved.

“Sometimes you see your patient and you see yourself in them. Most of all, I am 30 years old. I look down on a 30 year old patient and I think it could be me, ”Kanoy said.

Most of these patients are between 20 and 50 years old – this is a trend reversal.

“It takes a lot more to get a young healthy person to the hospital. They have a much stronger immune system, ”said Dr. Jessica Jones, Methodist Infectious Disease Specialist.

Infectious disease experts say the state of Nebraska is currently primarily dealing with the UK strain COVID-19. This strain is spreading faster, and experts urge people to stay vigilant even as more people get vaccinated.

“It’s easy for those of us who haven’t got it or have experienced a family member with it. It’s easy to just be something that we think is just out there. I would say it’s just a kind of cautionary note for those who think they are safe, ”said Dr. Stanley Thomas, CHI Health.

Those who work closely with the most critically ill patients say that one thing they have in common is that they are not vaccinated.

“It’s an honor and a pleasure to take care of people during the toughest times of their lives, but man, we’d so much rather cheer for you to wait in line for the vaccine than for us to cheer you on to get out of a ventilator. “

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