Michigan COVID hospitalizations: Concerns grow as more younger adults are in ICU

Doctors warn of more serious COVID cases among younger adults placing them in hospitals

Dr. Frank McGeorge explains the concerning trend being seen at Michigan hospitals right now.
Dr. Frank McGeorge explains the concerning trend being seen at Michigan hospitals right now.

I have seen a very clear increase in COVID patients at the ER in Detroit, and many of them need to be hospitalized.

I would honestly say the virus trend today in Michigan feels worse than it was during the wave that started back in November.

Now the most concerning trend is in the number of middle-aged people with severe COVID-19.

“We have about a quarter of the patients who are hospitalized at our main hospital actually in the intensive care unit (ICU) right now,” said Dr. Geneva Tatem.

Tatem is a critical care specialist in the ICU at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

“We’ve seen a shift to a little bit younger age group. They’re about 5 years or so younger than we’ve seen in the past,” said Tatem.

Michigan’s data shows hospitalizations have taken a sharp increase with a growth rate that is more severe than the increase we saw during the winter surge.

Cases are doubling in under two weeks and the concern is this will lead to more cases in the ICU.

“We know that a lot of patients who get admitted to the medical ICU get admitted because they are get worse while they are actually in the hospital. What we know is that patients, almost irrespective of age thus far, when they’ve gotten critically ill they’ve required a lot of high-level, very advanced care for prolonged periods of time,” said Tatem. “The fact that they’re critical ill and in an ICU means that they’re going to have pretty much a protracted course. So again, anything and everything that we can do to prevent them from getting so ill that they need to be in an ICU is where our focus really is.”

Surge in Michigan

I’m going to editorialize a little bit here: There’s a surge in Michigan. It’s obvious to us on the front line.

I’m frankly not sure what action the governor or the health department can or will take. If things stay open, that’s great. But that means it’s our responsibility to curb this. Just because things are open does not mean you have to go and participate. Protect yourself and protect others.

New: Michigan governor has new COVID vaccination goal of 100,000 doses per day


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About the Author:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.