A Michigan doctor says some COVID-19 patients continue to deny their diagnosis or denounce vaccines from their deathbeds.
Matthew Trunsky, a pulmonologist and director of the palliative care unit at a Beaumont Health hospital in southeastern Michigan, has gained national attention after recounting what some patents gravelly ill with coronavirus have told him.
“You’re wrong doctor. I don’t have COVID” and “I’d rather die than take the vaccine” were among the eight examples he shared in a Facebook post earlier in September.
Trunsky told The Washington Post medical staff have at times been berated by patients and their family members. He said over 100 of his patients have died from the coronavirus and 9 out of 10 COVID patients are unvaccinated.
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As of Saturday, about 55.2% of Americans are fully vaccinated. Over 672,000 have died due to COVID-19 related complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC released a study in September that found unvaccinated people who get COVID are 10 times more likely to be hospitalized and 11 times more likely to die.
Despite his frustrations, Trunsky said he remains dedicated to giving all his patients, unvaccinated or not, the same level of care.
“We took the oath, we take all comers. I think deep down that’s the reason most of us went into medicine — to take care of patients. And it doesn’t really matter who they are and what decisions they make,” Trunsky told Bridge Michigan.
Dr. Kristin Jacob, director of the wellness program at Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health, told Bridge it’s normal for doctors to feel frustrated with patients not taking advantage of a vaccine “that can help end the pandemic.”
“There’s a natural inclination to feel defensive and really continue to worsen that compassion fatigue. That’s hard to talk about. No one wants to admit that,” Jacob told Bridge.
In his plea for more people to get vaccinated, Trunsky shared that his experience with eight patients. Six out of the eight died, the other two remain in critical condition, he told The Post.
“Numbers are on the rise. Get the vaccine,” Trunsky said in his post.
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