Who is getting hospitalized with COVID?

Hospital Hallway
Posted at 5:00 PM, Jan 10, 2022

WESTMINSTER, Md (WMAR) — Another 78 Marylanders were hospitalized with COVID over the last 24 hours.
Statewide, around 75 percent of those being hospitalized are not vaccinated and hospitals are taking a close look at other data too.

At Carroll Hospital, their COVID fatality rate is about 2 percent, the lowest it has ever been, but it’s because of the sheer volume of patients.

“This wave is three times larger than the previous waves in terms of hospitalizations so it’s just a really big number and it’s hard to deal with,” said Dr. Mark Olszyk, Chief Medical Officer of Carroll Hospital.

Olszyk said COVID patients make up for 70 out of their 150 adult inpatients.

“Almost one out of every two or every other room has a COVID patient which is amazing. It’s unprecedented in our 60 year history,” said Olszyk.

Of the 70 COVID patients, over 50 are unvaccinated and only 3 are vaccinated and boosted.

Unvaccinated people are also much more likely to be hospitalized at a younger age.

“The unvaccinated average age is in their 50s. If you’re vaccinated, you tend to be in your 70s,” said Olszyk.

COVID patients end up needing more care too, staying in the hospital for 6 days on average, which is double the historical average.

“Imagine a big tank of water and there’s a hose pouring water in one side. If you don’t drain it out as quickly, it’s going to overflow. So we’re always in this fine balance between admissions and discharges in normal times, but now that patients are staying twice as long with COVID, the hospital is really filling up,” said Olszyk.

Most end up needing oxygen; some high flow oxygen. It can get expensive, thousands and thousands of dollars, and their care doesn’t end just because they are discharged.

“When you leave the hospital, you’re not perfectly well again. You might still well need to go home on oxygen. We’ve sent home a lot of patients on oxygen tanks,” said Olszyk.

Olszyk said many patients have long, slow recoveries and they don’t know how many will end up needing therapy or rehab.

The easiest way to avoid it all, he said, is getting vaccinated.