Local health officials say November saw 70 COVID-related deaths, compared to 20 in October

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — “It looks like approximately, just to give you a ballpark, a third or more of the deaths we’ve had since the outset of the pandemic had occurred in November,” said Dr. Michael Lamanteer, Chief Medical Officer at BSA.

The month of November, taking three and a half times the amount of lives that were lost in October.

“The tragic thing is we had 70 deaths from COVID-19 in November at Northwest. That’s compared to 20 in October,” explained Dr. Brian Weis, Chief Medical Officer at Northwest Texas Hospital.

With the drastic increase, Dr. Weis said the mortuary and funeral homes are getting backlogged on processing some of the dead.

“The RAC has had to bring in several morgue trucks for storage of the deceased bodies. And yes, at this point we’re having to use those,” said Dr. Weis.

Multiple doctors also agreed that the best thing for treating their patients with COVID-19 is to keep them off a ventilator as long as possible.

Dr. Weis continued, “I can only speak for Northwest, but I would say.. and Dr. Milton sees a lot of our patients. A lot of these patients, when they go on a ventilator, these are the ones that we ultimately end up withdrawing care, just due to the fact that at that point they cannot survive without the ventilator.”

Public Health Authority, Dr. Scott Milton added, “the mortality probably approaches 50%.”

Healthcare workers, like RN Dellani Spradling, witness these deaths each and every single day.

Spradling stated, “This last weekend, one shift I watched six patients die. I watched six families be torn apart. It’s not easy to get through emotionally.”

This, taking an emotional toll not just on Spradling, but everyone on the frontline.

“Emotionally, I will wake up in the middle of the night trying to save somebody. I see my patients, like their faces. Like my patients that have died, I’ll see their faces just sometimes when I’m trying to go to sleep,” said Spradling.

Regardless, Spradling and her colleagues go to work everyday doing what they can for their patients, to the very end.

She continued, “And that’s what keeps me going back every single day is I want them to have somebody there with them until I can no longer do anything else for them.”


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