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Issues and Answers: Pikeville Medical Center is delaying elective surgeries due to the high volume of COVID-19 patients

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11
Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 8:55 PM EDT
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Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - On this week’s edition of Issues and Answers, WYMT’s Steve Hensley sits down with Dr. Fadi Al Akhrass, Infectious Disease Expert at Pikeville Medical Center, to cover a wide array of COVID-19 related topics.

You can watch the full episode in the player above.

Within the discussion, Dr. Al Akhrass said Pikeville Medical Center currently has 82 patients being hospitalized for COVID-19 related complications and 16 of those patients in the I.C.U. Because of this, PMC has to put a hold on elective surgeries:

“These numbers are extremely high and require a lot of mobilization of resources to be able to provide the right care for them, leading, unfortunately, to holding off on other services in order to take care of our other patients,” said Dr. Al Akhrass.

In terms of vaccinations, Dr. Al Akhrass said although it’s impossible to fully eradicate the virus, reaching herd immunity through vaccination is one way we can lessen the impact of COVID-19. In order to reach herd immunity, we must reach a 70-75 percent vaccination rate.

“Here, it’s [up to us] to pick the choice. The choice will be either vaccination or natural infection and this is way safer and more effective to get it through vaccination versus natural infection,” said Dr. Al Akhrass.

Dr. Al Akhrass added that booster shots will be very beneficial for older individuals as well as those working on the frontlines of the virus:

“I believe the booster is gonna be a great option to maximize these neutralizing antibodies to be able to fight against the variants.”

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News First at Four

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