‘The Health System Is In Danger’: Integris Doctor Warns To Take COVID-19 Seriously


Tuesday, December 1st 2020, 6:29 pm
By: Tevis Hillis


Oklahoma City -

Metro health care officials said the state must do more to slow the virus or more of our friends and neighbors will lose their lives.

Doctors have been warning for months to take precautions like keeping our distance and wearing a mask to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

One infectious disease specialist with Integris spoke plainly about the pandemic hoping to inspire action.

"Anyone who believes this is a hoax can come with me and walk through the intensive care unit," said Dr. David Chansolme, with Integris Health.

He has been one of the voices in health care that News 9 has talked to since the spring.

As he is leading his hospital, he also has to watch Oklahomans die from the coronavirus each day.

He said, on average, one patient passes away a day in his hospital.

"We know people that end up in the ICU the mortality is something between 30-40%. That is really, really high. That is like ten times the risk of dying from a heart attack," said Chansolme.

The latest report from the Oklahoma Department of Health says that 6% of ICU beds are currently available. The concerning part is who will take care of the patient?

"Hospitals are bursting at the seams. I don't know where we are going to put patients. I am very worried about it."

Some hospitals like SSM Health St. Anthony are already expanding to accommodate the increase.

As for what's next for our state, Governor Stitt is calling on a statewide day of prayer this Thursday for those affected by COVID-19.

Read: Gov. Stitt Declares Statewide Day Of Prayer, Fasting For Oklahomans Affected By COVID-19

But when it comes to the virus?

"More cases… more cases," said Chansolme. "We have never been dishonest with the public. We never changed the numbers. But I will tell you the health system is in danger."