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A message from Regions Hospital health care workers to the community regarding COVID-19

"What we do today, what we do tomorrow, what we do this holiday season will determine who exactly gets to the other side," Dr. Sara Spilseth said.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Regions Hospital in St. Paul, like other hospitals throughout the world, is fighting night and day to care for all the COVID patients it is getting. 

Workers are exhausted, and with so many patients they are becoming drained.

Health care workers are urging the community to also be heroes and be part of the frontline. 

Everyone has to contribute to keep each other safe.

The following are words from those workers to the community:

"Our staff here are tired, working hours, picking up shifts and the patients don’t stop coming in," V.P. Patient Care Services at Regions Hospital Chris Boese said.

"If you come into our hospital, I will care for you to the best of my ability," Dr. Sara Spilseth said. "But it's up to you to make sure you don’t end up here."

Spilseth described the toll that the influx of patients has had on her colleagues.

"There is not a day that goes by that I don’t see one of my colleagues, one of my health care colleagues in tears," she said.

"But we are nine months into this and like I said we are tired, yeah it feels a little disheartening and offensive that people continue to behave like this isn’t something to be taken seriously," Boese said. "It’s like this never-ending wave of patients. I was rounding up in the ICU today and they were trying to find a patient that was well enough to transfer off because there was another one waiting for the bed it just never ends, this endless wave…that's getting tiring."

"Then how do we keep our staff safe, how do we make room for all of the people who need our help, it’s hard," Spilseth said. "Caring for the patients is probably the hardest part. I go and I hold the hand of this COVID patient, I think of him. Last week he passed away. I saw him take his last spontaneous breath and then I go home to my family and there is this moment of hesitation that I have before I squeeze my two girls. Because in the back of my mind I wonder, 'Is this the day where I get COVID and am I giving it to my children?'"

Boese worries that hospitals may not be able to hold all the patients that are needing to come in. 

"We are a big hospital at Regions, we have 500 beds, we are full; today my ICU beds are 98% occupied. This isn’t fake, it’s not a hoax it is truly full," Boese explained. "So today at Regions we have 94 patients with COVID, OK, in a usual year I would never have 94 flu patients at one time."

"We are gonna get through this, we are going to get to the other side; our community, our state, our country, will get to other side of COVID." Spilseth added. "What we do today, what we do tomorrow, what we do this holiday season will determine who exactly gets to the other side. You look at those photographs of the airport and that’s what everybody sees is those photos but what I see are patients with breathing tubes lining the hallways, I see patients who are gasping for air, I see family members on iPads crying because they just want to be able to see their mom, dad, brother one last time. That’s what I see when I look at those airport pictures and it scares me."

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