Van Gundy says no more room in hospitals

There is no room at hospitals for people due to rising COVID-19 numbers.

Dr. Lance Van Gundy with UnityPoint – Marshalltown aired his concerns and frustrations regarding the state of the pandemic situation in a viral Thursday Facebook post, which can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/lance.vangundy.5/videos/562396728408075

He said he would not be doing his job if he did not say something.

The abundance of COVID cases means there are less beds for Van Gundy, who works the ER in Marshalltown, to send patients with a hip fractures or life-threatening medical conditions.

“I’ve had to hold on to a meningitis case, a stroke case, a heart attack and a blood clot in a lung,” Van Gundy said. “These are people who should have been transferred to ICUs right away and there are no ICUs in the state of Iowa. They’re all full. This is bad. It feels like a third world country sometimes. So get your shots people.”

He said there is a lot of misinformation out there about COVID-19 and the vaccines.

“We are drowning in people who are dying with the illness but I have yet to admit a single person because of a vaccine-related incident,” Van Gundy said. “I don’t want to be political. I just need everyone to know in over 20 years of doing this I’ve never been this busy or this stressed or seen this many sick people.”

He urged people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Don’t be stupid and do dumb things. Because there’s no place to admit you,” Van Gundy said. “If you get sick, you’re stuck with me until a bed opens up and that might take days because they’re all full of COVID people.

He ended the video by saying he is tired, along with the rest of the world.

“We are in this together and when people and when people get political about it and try to pretend this doesn’t affect them, they’re wrong,” Van Gundy said.

It was not the first time Van Gundy has aired his concerns about the pandemic. In November, he told the Times-Republican that UnityPoint in Marshalltown was close to capacity, but had not reached it at that time. He said the medical community was doing its best to manage the pandemic. However, the hospital only has nine ventilators that can be used and a handful of medical providers who know how to manage ventilators. Ventilated patients are intubated for seven to 12 days.

“That means 12 days of 24-hour-a-day care, drips of sedating medication, IV nutrition, fluids, prevention of bed sores,” he said. “This takes a coordinated army of rotating staff and care providers — all for that one person.”