PROGRAM:
Andrew Accardi,
Head of ER Services at Scripps Hospitals
Andrew Accardi
 
Dr. Andrew Accardi discussed the impact and challenges of the COVID-19 crisis as well as offering some thoughts about the coming months.
 
He began by saying that Scripps hospitals and their related facilities have had outstanding community support, making some very tough days a bit easier. Dealing with patients during the crisis has not been “as hectic as some of the flu seasons in the past,” he said, “but it is pretty intense.”
 
Pandemic challenges for medical and care providers include:
• Lack of knowledge about the virus and access to testing for all.
• Lack of access to health care for all, which leads to fear of going to the hospital until too late or almost too late.
• Lengthy hospitalizations required for COVID-19 patients who end up in the ICU and must be intubated.
• Labor-intense impacts on medical and care providers.
• Financial impacts on hospitals, doctors and patients.
 
Accardi said prevalence of the disease in San Diego is at about 2 percent, whereas in New York City, it has been more like 20 percent. That leads him to believe that many in San Diego actually are immune. But more testing is needed to make that determination. He said people will be wearing masks and social-distancing “probably for some time to come.” Especially as a result of the current crowd protests and rioting, or other crowd gatherings too soon. Masks and social distancing currently are the best way to protect people from the virus, he said, noting that those most susceptible are the elderly, smokers, diabetics and others with underlying health issues, and those living in mutli-family homes. He said it’s too early to know if someone can get the virus again, but normally, “once you get herd immunity, it’s really hard for a virus to come back again.”