NEW ORLEANS, Miss. (WLOX) – Abigail Jacobson has seen the pandemic from inside the ICU at Ochsner’s in New Orleans for the last year and a half. For those outside of healthcare, the number of patients in the ICU is alarming. For Jacobson, those numbers represent individual patients she’s in charge of treating.
She said patients with coronavirus are deteriorating fast.
“A lot of people come in just having shortness of breath, fatigue, the normal things you hear people with. Then, all of a sudden they start getting worse. They’ll start out on a little bit of oxygen and it’s like their body just hits a wall and all of a sudden they go from a little bit of oxygen to needing as much as we can give them,” Jacobson said.
“By the end of the day, the doctor is talking to them about going on a breathing machine and it’s just terrifying to see the look in their eyes, the look in their families’ eyes for them to know the only thing left for them is to be on a ventilator.”
The emotional toll on Jacobson, and others, is immense.
“Yeah, and that’s a big thing. I think a lot of people have this time around is just the emotional fatigue. No one minds having to put on the PPE, like the gowns and the masks. It’s the emotional toll it takes that is hard to recover from,” she said.
To those outside of the ICU, seeing the pandemic from behind a TV screen or a smartphone, she encourages taking precautions against the virus, like vaccines, social distancing and wearing a mask.
“There’s yet to be anyone who is in the ICU that has said they are thankful they didn’t get a vaccine or they’re glad they didn’t wear a mask,” Jacobson said.
“I know it’s exhausting that it’s a year and a half later and we’re still doing these things, but we’re doing it for the hope of a normal future and to have a future with the ones we love. It’s really the best I have to offer people because there is no discrimination of who this affects. It’s doesn’t matter where you come from or how old you are,” she added.
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