This is a horrible story.
Van Pelt went in for a routine procedure unrelated to Covid-19 which should have taken 20 minutes. Instead, he went into cardiac arrest with an unexplained brain seizure. He needed specialized care that the hospital he was in did not have. While waiting for an opening, later found in Oklahoma City, Robert Van Pelt died.
These are the nightmarish stories we were warned about when covid overwhelms hospital systems. Not enough doctors, nurses, or specialized equipment for every patient.
Source: Kansas City Star
MCPHERSON, Kan. (KWCH) - Close friends and family say a 44-year-old McPherson man died unexpectedly waiting for a hospital ICU bed to open up. The patient, Robert Van Pelt, was hospitalized for an issue unrelated to COVID-19, but because COVID patients are taking up so many hospital beds, his friends and family says he wasn’t able to get the immediate care he needed. Dying while waiting on a hospital bed is a reality as hospital levels are officially at dangerous levels, they warn.
“There are a lot of people who don’t believe the hospitals are full. That’s really hard to listen to when one of my friends’ husband was lying in a hospital dying because he couldn’t get the treatment he needed because the beds were full,” said family friend Liz Hamer, speaking on behalf of Van Pelt’s family.
A GoFundMe page, established to help Van Pelt’s family with funeral expenses offered the following explanation of what happened with him.
(”Van Pelt) was going to a routine medical procedure when something unknown went terribly wrong and he flatlined under light sedation. He was able to be revived after many attempts and what went from a routine 20-minute appointment left him without oxygen for several minutes and he had to be life-flighted to the nearest emergency hospital with a cardiac team,” the family explained.
Van Pelt died waiting three days for a bed in the ICU as unvaccinated patients overwhelmed ICU rooms across the state, his family said. Kansas hospitals reached out to 20 states, trying to find just one available ICU bed. But there wasn’t a single ICU bed open and emergency rooms were full.
While there's nothing funny about this particular tragedy at all, the general situation in the country does lead to some attempted gallows humor.
— The Onion (@TheOnion) August 26, 2021
Though, even The Onion can't compete these days with reality.
Covid crisis up close: there’s a nurse at E.R. in Sealy, TX who, right now, is trying to transfer a heat attack patient to a larger hospital for necessary, advanced care. She called 17 hospitals. All denied transport. No available beds.
This is Covids impact on non COVID patients pic.twitter.com/739F5T9nYI
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) August 26, 2021