Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Surgery delays grow severe amid COVID-19 hospital crowding in Minnesota

Hospitals have deferred procedures to free up beds amid coronavirus wave, leaving some patients in prolonged pain


December 15, 2021

Leila Navidi, Star Tribune

Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids has admitted the most COVID-19 patients in Minnesota this fall.

Gayle Nourse avoided surgery on her left knee as long as she could - having endured a right knee replacement last year - but when the pain became intolerable in September, it was too late.

A COVID-19 wave consumed hospital beds, forcing patients with urgent but not emergent conditions to wait. Nourse made it into pre-op at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids on Sept. 13 before her procedure was canceled last minute. Three months later, she is still waiting - with cortisone shots providing stopgap relief but not the mobility to play with her grandkids.

"I just want my quality of life back," said Nourse, 57, of Shoreview. "It's not like I was Wonder Woman."


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