Wailuku, Maui, HI (August 27,2021) – Maui Memorial Medical Center (MMMC) continues to remain busy with COVID-19 patient care and other, non-COVID patient medical needs. As of his morning, we are caring for 34 COVID-19 positive patients with six in intensive care and two on a ventilator. Of these 34 patients, over 70% are younger than 60 years of age, which is a significant jump from just ten days ago when the younger COVID-19 patients were at 50%.
This recent surge is infecting our younger residents more than any other time during the pandemic. Younger people who are seemingly healthy, yet unvaccinated. MMMC frontline workers are experiencing this as they care for COVID-19 patients who are very sick.
“By the time the patient gets to me, they’re struggling to breath,” said Lydia Brandes, RN in MMMC’s ICU for 20 years. “This virus is so frustrating, it’s invisible, yet devastating. Imagine having to think about breathing, having to use every muscle and effort in your body to try and get some air into your lungs. Nothing else matters, but air, not eating, drinking, moving, using the restroom – nothing, but air. And the air you get is minimal because your lungs are so inflamed, even in our young patients. It’s like sucking through a tiny straw – a lot of effort for a little oxygen.” As one of the many dedicated ICU nurses caring for COVID-19 patients, Lydia has seen firsthand the impact of COVID-19 and how some have a severe reaction to the virus, while others have no symptoms – and sometimes within the same family. Lydia said, “It’s like musical chairs, the music starts, stops, and someone will be without a seat – that’s COVID. It can infect anyone, cause severe disease and even death in some, and no symptoms in others. So why take that chance?” Lydia hopes more people get vaccinated or, at the very least, stay home and avoid potentially spreading the virus. “I have been an ICU nurse for 20 years, always with MMMC and caring for my community. This virus is scary, and unlike anything we’ve seen. We must do everything we can to stop the spread.”
MMMC’s vaccine clinic is now offering the third dose to immunocompromised eligible individuals. Vaccine clinic hours: Mondays/Fridays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome. For more information, please visit www.mauihealth.org/covidvaccine.
About Maui Health
Maui Health, aka Maui Health System, community hospitals and associated clinics affiliated with Kaiser Permanente, includes Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital, Lanai Community Hospital and associated clinics, and serves the people of Maui and Lanai. The facilities under Maui Health employ more than 1500 Maui County residents, partner with over 460 hospital-based physicians, clinicians, and community-based primary and specialty physicians, and are open to all patients regardless of health insurance coverage. Maui Health is committed to delivering high quality, affordable, patient-centered health care and improving the health of the community. Maui Health is supported by Kaiser Permanente’s industry-leading technology systems, evidence-based medicine and nationally recognized care quality. For more information, visit mauihealth.org.