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WaPo headline about an Iowa man who 'died after waiting 15 days for a hospital bed' leaves out the tiny detail that he was admitted to a hospital almost immediately 

SHOT. . .

The Washington Post has a story up about Dale Weeks, a 78-year-old man from Seymour, Iowa whose family “blames unvaccinated covid-19 patients” for his death.


According to this headline, Weeks “died after waiting 15 days for a hospital bed”:


The Washington Post story is based on this report from the Des Moines Register, which goes into a little more detail on his timeline of care. Namely, we discover that Weeks was admitted to a hospital near his home almost immediately and that his family, after the fact, thinks he might have survived if he had been transferred to a larger hospital:

His daughters think he might have survived if he’d been admitted immediately to a large medical center, where he could have received advanced testing and prompt surgery.

Weeks sought treatment on the night of November 1 and was transferred to hospital by ambulance the next day:

Weeks lived in the southern Iowa town of Seymour. When he began feeling ill, he thought it might be a side effect of a flu shot and a booster shot of coronavirus vaccine. On the night of Nov. 1, he went to the hospital in nearby Centerville, where staff determined he had sepsis. “They told my dad and his wife right away they had no beds,” Owenson said.

The staff called around for hours, seeking an open hospital bed. At first, the closest one they could find was in Illinois. Then, by midday the next day, they found a spot at the MercyOne hospital in Newton, 80 miles north of Centerville. He was taken there by ambulance.


So, the 15 days the Washington Post says he was spending waiting for a hospital bed were spent . . . in a hospital bed, getting IV antibiotics for his sepsis infection:

But he stayed for 15 days at Newton’s relatively small hospital because the bigger facilities said they couldn’t spare a bed for him, his family says. Iowa’s short-staffed hospitals have been jammed for months with patients, including people severely sickened by COVID-19.


Owenson said the Newton hospital’s staff did the best they could for her father, including giving him intravenous antibiotics. But when his infection failed to resolve, the family repeatedly asked if he could be transferred to a more advanced hospital. “We kept being told he was on a ‘list of degrees of severity,’ and his number had not come up,” she said.

And after Weeks was transferred to the larger medical center, doctors there didn’t determine he needed surgery for another 7 days:

On Nov. 17, after 15 days, he was taken to the University of Iowa Hospitals by ambulance. Doctors there determined on Nov. 25 that he needed surgery to clear out a severe infection of an artery near his stomach, where years earlier he’d had a stent installed to repair an aneurysm.


Weeks then died a few days later:

The Nov. 26 surgery lasted 17 hours, but Weeks continued to struggle, his daughters said. A surgeon told the family it was one of the worst infections she’d ever seen, they said. A second, shorter operation didn’t reverse his decline. His kidneys and intestines were failing. He died Nov. 28 at age 78.

Now, this dealy *could* have been a factor in his death, but it’s certainly not clear that it did and the way the headline is presented is totally misleading.


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