Dr. Mangala Narasimhan is chief of critical care at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, one of 23 hospitals in the Northwell Health System.
Dr. Mangala Narasimhan: I have 18 beds in one ICU full of people on ventilators, completely sedated unable to open their eyes or interact or talk to their families. And we are feeding them through tubes, and we are completely keeping them paralyzed so that we can properly ventilate them. It’s our sickest patients, and they’re in every single room of our ICU.
The pictures in our story were shot for us by hospital staff. By the end of this past week, New York City hospitals admitted more than 5,000 COVID-19 patients. At Northwell Health hospitals, about a third of COVID-19 patients go to intensive care, often suddenly.
Dr. Mangala Narasimhan: Very quickly, within hours. They walk into the hospital, talking, or into an urgent care. And 12 hours later they’re on a ventilator, fighting for their life.
Scott Pelley: Is that unusual?
Dr. Mangala Narasimhan: Very unusual. Very unusual. We don’t see that course in progression like this with any other disease that we deal with.
Scott Pelley: How long are they staying in the ICU?
Dr. Mangala Narasimhan: Much longer than our normal patients are. Normal patients, we have three or four days of ICU stay and they leave. These patients, and this is consistent with China and with what Italy is seeing, take about two weeks on a ventilator before they can come off, if they come off.
Read or watch it all (video highly recommended as it will have more impact).
“We have lots of people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s… on ventilators and don’t have a lotta medical problems,” says Dr. Narasimhan. “So, while the older people definitely fare worse, the younger people are also not spared.” https://t.co/cg6E3rjdSB pic.twitter.com/Uf7Am6ip2y
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) March 30, 2020