The Delta Surge Keeps Getting Worse. What Happens When Hospitals Fill Up

Some states in the south are have more people in the hospital than at any point during the pandemic — fueled by the highly transmissible delta variant and low vaccination rates.

Dr. David Kimberlin, co-division director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, tells NPR the hospital system is Alabama is on the verge of collapse. He spoke to reporter Pien Huang.

So what happens — for patients and the people who treat them — when hospitals are full? NPR put that question to two people in charge of hospitals: Dr. Aharon Sareli, Chief of Critical Medicine with the Memorial Healthcare System near Miami; and Dr. Adriano Goffi, a medical director at Altus Lumberton Hospital east of Houston.

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