What We're Reading: Public Fears Worst of Pandemic; Blood Clotting and COVID-19; VA Facilities Struggle

April 23, 2020
AJMC Staff
AJMC Staff

A new poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows a majority of Americans fear the worst of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is yet to come; reports of blood clots in patients with COVID-19 raise concerns; Veterans' Affairs medical facilities are struggling to cope with the pandemic.

Poll Highlights Americans' Pandemic Concerns

Blood Clots in COVID-19 Patients Raise Concerns

Veterans' Affairs Medical Facilities Experience Staff Shortages

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll, conducted between April 15 and 20, found 51% of the American public believe the “worst is yet to come” in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. More democrats (64%) and independents (56%) believe “the worst is yet to come” compared with only 27% of republicans. The poll also found 80% of Americans feel stricter shelter-in-place measures are necessary to limit the virus’ spread while 19% of respondents believe current shelter-in-place measures are doing more harm than good. Researchers point out 84% of all respondents say their lives have been disrupted by COVID-19, up 12 percentage points from a previous tracking poll conducted in late March.Autopsies show lungs in some individuals infected with COVID-19 filled with hundreds of micro blood clots, according to The Washington Post. Larger blood clots, when unrestricted, can break off, travel to the brain or heart, and could cause a stroke or heart attack. In response to these reports, some doctor groups have suggested giving preventive blood thinners to every patient with COVID-19. Doctors have also postulated the clots may be in part responsible for a large proportion of the US death rate. Evidence from China pointed to the potential risk of blood problems in patients.Veterans’ Affairs (VA) medical facilities are struggling to cope with the COVID-19 strain on resources and staff, according to The Associated Press. Currently, 1900 VA health workers have become sick with the virus and 20 have died. In addition, 3600 VA healthcare employees are quarantined, unable to work, because they were exposed to the virus. Nearly 6000 veterans have been treated for the virus by the VA, and 380 have died. In response to the startling numbers, Democrats plan to call on President Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act, specifically to gain more supplies for the VA.