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Plea from doctors intensifies as COVID-19 cases continue to surge, threatens hospital capacity in Nevada

Posted at 8:59 PM, Nov 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-01 09:54:46-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The plea from hospital doctors is intensifying in Nevada as COVID-19 cases continue to surge and threaten hospital capacity.

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“We might get to a breaking point,” says Dr. Jacob Keeperman.

Dr. Keeperman just spent his first week in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit at Renown Medical Center in Reno.

He posted a selfie on Twitter with a sobering caption that said he’d seen five deaths in just the last 32 hours.

“We want to take care of patients and it’s devastating when we have patients that don’t do well,” says Dr. Keeperman.

The tweet even got the attention of Gov. Sisolak, who thanked Dr. Keeperman for providing life-saving care.

Renown Hospital has already had an overflow of COVID-19 patients, and they’ve moved some into a make-shift care site in its parking garage.

Doctors and nurses are often the only ones to comfort COVID-19 patients in their final moments.

“We sit in the room and hold the patient's hand so they’re not alone, it’s a devastating thing and it’s emotionally draining but we go on knowing we can help the patient in the next room,” says Dr. Keeperman.

As the Thanksgiving weekend ends, doctors say it’s even more important to buckle down before it’s too late.

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The Medical Director of the Trauma Intensive Care Unit at University Medical Center, Dr. Deborah Kuhls, says folks need to do the right thing.

“If we continue to have an uptick of COVID-19 patients, we’re going to run out of hospital beds and people to take care of sick people,” says Dr. Kuhls.

UMC says that they have surge plans in place in the event that they need to significantly expand their bed count.

They also have multiple high capacity areas on standby.

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