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Medical Miami

Miami medical teams feel helpless as COVID-19 devastates South Florida – Reuters

MIAMI (Reuters) – As the coronavirus ravages Florida, healthcare workers in Miami hospitals are struggling to cope with the emotional and physical impact of treating a crushing wave of COVID-19 patients.

After seeing 10,000 new cases a day become the norm across the state in July, many of those on the frontlines are frustrated with the apparent inability of local, state, and federal governments to coordinate an adequate response. They are equally aghast with what appears to be the reluctance or refusal of many Floridians to honor safety precautions to stop the spread of coronavirus.

“I know, and my colleagues know, that we’re putting a Band-Aid on a problem, we’re supporting people as best we can to get them through, but the real fight happens outside,” said Dr. Eric Knott, a pulmonary and critical care fellow working in three of Miami’s largest hospitals. “If you can’t stop the spread, all of my work is for nothing.”

For Miami doctors, concerns about the virus far surpass those stirred up by even the largest hurricanes.

“A hurricane tends to be a sort of finite amount, and this is infinite,” said Dr. Mark Supino, an attending physician in Jackson Memorial Hospital’s emergency department.

Many healthcare workers and union leaders were critical of Miami’s reopening several weeks after the number of cases of the novel coronavirus first began rising in early March.

On Friday, state health officials reported a total of 402,312 cases across Florida, with 135 new deaths bringing the total to more than 5,600.

While the death toll in South Florida has not approached that of New York City, an early epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, hospital beds and intensive care units across the region have filled to capacity, and in some cases surpassed it.

At Jackson Memorial Hospital, the largest facility in the region, officials have called in hundreds of additional medical workers as employees have fallen sick and had to stay home or be hospitalized. An auditorium was sealed and prepared for COVID-positive patients with a negative pressure system to limit the air flow to prevent new infections.

“In 10 years of medicine I never had to put another nurse on life support, I never had to worry about my co-workers dying,” said Kevin Cho Tipton, a critical care nurse practitioner who works at one of Miami’s largest public hospitals. “It’s been emotionally very challenging, physically very challenging.”

Among the most difficult and stressful parts of the job are the sheer number of ICU patients.

Healthcare workers must constantly keep tabs on the vital organs of patients on ventilators, and many of the sick have to be flipped over and over again to stave off any complications from lying in one position for a prolonged period. To do so without risking detaching any of the life support systems can take up to six people.

The intensity has overwhelmed some.

Jude Derisme, vice president of Service Employees International Union 1199, which represents 25,000 medical workers across Florida, said the union had to help get one nurse, a 25-year veteran, off a hospital floor after a “break down.”

FILE PHOTO: Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) arrive with a patient while a funeral car begins to depart at North Shore Medical Center where coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients are treated, in Miami, Florida, U.S. July 14, 2020. REUTERS/Maria Alejandra Cardona/File Photo

“My fear is that if we don’t find a way to bring these numbers down over the next two weeks, if they’re worse than these last two weeks, we’re going to be stretched too thin,” said Martha Baker, a registered nurse and president of Service Employees International Union 1991, which represents about 5,600 medical professionals within Miami’s Jackson Health System. “The sad news is that that’s when patients die.”

While her chapter of the union along with others across Florida have advocated for more personal protective equipment, better overtime pay, hazard pay, and worker’s compensation for those waylaid by the virus, they also acknowledged that medical workers can only do so much against the pandemic.

“This is war, and instead of bullets we’ve got viruses,” Baker said. “If we don’t find a way to dampen our curve we just keep chasing our tails.”

Reporting by Zachary Fagenson in Miami; Editing by Frank McGurty and Tom Brown

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Busch Miami

Kyle Busch wins Miami NASCAR Truck race, while Ray Ciccarelli finishes 29th after Confederate flag controversy – Fox News

MIAMI – Kyle Busch’s slump wasn’t much of a slump. And it’s over now, anyway.

AP

AP

Busch won the NASCAR Trucks Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday night, his 58th career win on the circuit and his eighth victory in his last 10 trucks starts. He’d been winless in his last two outings, which — by his standards behind the wheel of a truck — constitutes a drought.

Busch hadn’t gone winless in three consecutive trucks starts since 2017. He was about five seconds clear of the field when the second stage ended at Lap 60, part of a dominant night where he led 82 of the 134 laps.

“It was awesome tonight,” Busch said.

There were a few challenging situations, though nothing derailed Busch for long.

Busch had to start at the back of the field, then serve a pass-through penalty on top of that, after failing pre-race inspection. But he managed to stay on the lead lap, then worked his way to the front and made it all seem easy.

“We’ve thrown away the last two races,” Busch said. “This is how we’re supposed to perform and run and look.”

The race was red-flagged for 16 minutes with 26 laps to go after Sheldon Creed crashed into the yellow protective barrels at the entrance to pit road and caused a huge mess. Once things resumed, it didn’t take long for Busch to reclaim the top spot.

And then a late caution sent the field into a high-pressure restart with seven laps left, but Busch just pulled away — this time, for good.

“Really good race for us,” Busch said.

Tyler Ankrum was second and Ross Chastain, who won the first stage, held off Chase Elliott for third.

Brett Moffitt won the trucks race at Homestead in 2018 but didn’t even get through 20 laps Saturday night, after he was part of a crash that also ended Zane Smith’s race early. Elliott was also part of the crash, getting turned sideways after Smith appeared to lose control but managing to avoid disaster even with trucks coming at him amid smoky confusion.

“Pretty much just ran out of talent, really,” Smith said.

Elliott pitted, got four new tires to replace those ruined in the skid, and was part of the race within the race — the battle for second behind Busch — at the end.

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Ray Ciccarelli was in the race after a week where he made plenty of news for perhaps less-than-ideal reasons.

A post on his since-deactivated Facebook account earlier in the week, one that followed NASCAR’s decision to ban the Confederate flag at races, said Ciccarelli planned on quitting the sport after this season because he didn’t want to participate in “political BS.”

“I could care less about the Confederate Flag but there are ppl that do and it doesn’t make them a racist,” the post said.

LEBRON JAMES DUNKS ON RAY CICCARELLI

Bayley Currey was announced earlier in the week as the driver of the No. 49 truck, but he indicated his split from the Ciccarelli CMI Motorsports team in a tweet he posted Thursday. He wrote “Have helmet, will travel” and his post was accompanied by the hashtag of “dowhatisright.”

CMI had planned for Ciccarelli to drive in the race in the No. 83 truck, before he switched to the No. 49. The 83 did not start, and Ciccarelli finished 29th.

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Miami Police

Police: Miami mom faked son’s abduction, faces murder charge – USA TODAY


Associated Press

Published 6:44 p.m. ET May 23, 2020 | Updated 6:44 p.m. ET May 23, 2020

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MIAMI – A Miami woman faked her son’s abduction after trying to drown him twice, with witnesses rescuing the boy from a canal the first time, and the second attempt ending in the boy’s death, officials said Saturday.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said Patricia Ripley, 45, is facing attempted and premeditated murder charges and being held in jail with no bond. No attorney was listed in jail records.

The boy, Alejandro Ripley, 9, was autistic and nonverbal. He was found floating in a canal Friday.

In an interview Saturday, Fernandez Rundle said Ripley apparently tried to drown her son an hour earlier at a different canal but nearby residents heard yelling and rescued him. Then, Fernandez Rundle said, Ripley drove her son to another canal.

“Unfortunately when she took him to the second canal, and there was no one there,” Fernandez Rundle said in an interview with The Associated Press. “She tried it once, and people rescued him. He was alive. He could have stayed alive. She intended, from all the facts of the case, to kill him.”

Fernandez Rundle said an autopsy was being done on the boy Saturday to determine if he had other injuries or perhaps had something toxic in his system. She said no decision has been made yet on whether prosecutors will seek the death penalty.

Fernandez Rundle also noted that because the boy was nonverbal, he could not have told his initial rescuers what had happened with his mother.

“He can’t say anything to his rescuers. We talk about children being voiceless. This is another level of voicelessness. He was incapable of saying that ‘mommy put me in the water.’”

Miami-Dade police department says the mother first claimed she was ambushed by two black men who demanded drugs and took her cellphone, tablet and son, before fleeing Thursday night, prompting an Amber Alert in the area south of Miami.

The boy’s body was pulled out of a golf course canal early Friday as police continued to interrogate the woman.

An arrest affidavit says she provided “conflicting statements,” and finally was confronted with statements of witnesses and video footage showing the first attempt to push the boy into the canal.

The document says she recanted her story and admitted she drove to another site and led the boy into the canal stating “he’s going to be in a better place.”

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