AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– As the delta variant of COVID-19 brings more patients to hospitals, non-COVID patients are wondering if sometimes they are being put in the back seat. Evan Semón is a photographer, but what happened to him last weekend was not a pretty picture.
“I got to the point when I would cough I was coughing up blood,” he said.READ MORE: Robert Killis, CSU Pueblo Student Arrested After Detectives Find Large Cache Of Weapons, Ammunition In Vehicle, Apartment
He was sent to UCHealth University Hospital from an urgent care which ordered a CAT scan to make sure he didn’t have a clot. He arrived in the emergency room around 6 p.m. And there he waited and waited and says he was told it was because of the influx of COVID-19 patients.
“The people are coming in with the actual variant get ahead of me for a chest scan. In so many words, I feel I am getting bumped.”READ MORE: 5280 Trail Would Connect Neighborhoods In Denver's Downtown Core
A spokesman for UCH says that was not the reason for the wait. It was just a busy night. But hospitals around the country have reported that non-COVID patients have experienced delays or rescheduling due to the virus which is now getting worse.
“If the COVID surges continue along this exponential increase, we run the risk of having to delay, reduce, stop elective surgeries,” said Dr. Marjorie Bessel, the Chief Clinical Officer of Banner Health, which has several facilities in Colorado.
Semón’s blood oxygen level plummeted around 11 p.m. and he got his scan. He was admitted for the night, but wondering if COVID patients caused him the delay. It turns out he had flu symptoms.MORE NEWS: 'In Colorado, We Are Ready': Gov. Jared Polis Reacts To FDA Approval Of Pfizer COVID Vaccine Boosters
UCHealth, which operates University of Colorado Hospital, says it has had delays for less urgent medical matters in the past due to the pandemic, but that is not the case now.