Medical leaders call for protective measures

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Sarasota surgeon Dr Marguerite Barnett said an increase in hospitalizations linked to COVID-19 threatens the livelihoods of healthcare workers. Former president of the Sarasota Medical Society and Florida delegate to the American Medical Association, she says her critical community leaders are still empowered to take action and limit the spread of the delta variant.

“I’m not trying to tell the government how to do business,” Barnett said. “I’m not calling the governor to tell him not to call a special session. But I know about health and public health care. Don’t tie the hands of those who are experts.

Barnett spoke to the media as part of an initiative of the Committee for the Protection of Public Health. She fears that more medical hospitals will stop elective procedures; she has just learned that Tampa General Hospital was prepared to take such a step. It threatens the livelihoods of many medical professionals like her – Barnett’s private practice does plastic surgery – who have to “sit on their hands” with no place to have surgery. But she also said it prevents many elective surgeries for cancer patients and others with conditions that need to be treated while being technically considered elective.

The state shut down all elective surgeries last year, a decision that eventually came back as overbreadth that couldn’t be sustained without hurting hospitals and patients. But even if the state does not close such surgeries again, Barnett said institutions overwhelmed with patients will. “We will still have people who die,” she said.

Sarasota Memorial Hospital reports that on Thursday there were 63 people in intensive care units, 32 of those COVID-19 patients. The hospital’s total intensive care bed capacity is 78.

As the pandemic lasted for a year and a half in the state of Florida – Florida’s first case was detected in a Manatee County patient on March 1, 2020 – there has been resistance to any potential measures having an impact. on individual freedom. The Sarasota School Board recently voted to make masks optional for students in the next school year, and Governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order prohibiting districts from imposing masks.

But Barnett said it was the wrong impetus to follow. She said the evidence showed masks and social distancing, while being unable to completely stop the spread of the virus, limit the spread and individually fight the intensity of the viral load. With the delta variant of the virus now as contagious as chickenpox, Barnett said the masking made sense.


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