IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - "I kept having the feeling that I needed to be there, I kept seeing commercials of them asking for help," said Registered Respiratory Therapist, Aaron Craythorn.
For six weeks Craythorn left his daily duties at Mountain View Hospital in Idaho Falls. He went to work 14 hour shifts at the Lincoln Medical Center in New York treating COVID-19 patients.
"It was literally a like walking into a war zone. It was an organized chaos we'll say," Craythorn described.
Lincoln Medical Center is one of 11 public hospitals in New York, which were all overwhelmed with the virus. Craythorn tells us there were five floors dedicated to COVID-19 patients and that the lack of medical equipment forced the staff to make difficult decisions.
"Who's gonna get the good ventilator versus who's gonna get this other one. It would come down to, who's more likely to survive," Craythorn said
Craythorn said the virus is something that needs to be taken care of quickly and with the right equipment, but with an overwhelmed health care system, that wasn't always possible.
"A lot of the people that were in the hospital, especially the ones that went on the ventilators, about 85% of them died," Craythorn said.
Our living space in East Idaho isn't as tight as those in New York, so Crayton says as long as we follow the guidelines set by the CDC and local governments, the virus should stay manageable for our healthcare system.
Craythorn came back from New York with advance knowledge on how to best help those who do contract the virus.
"The way we treated COVID over there, it's, it's not like any other virus you are used to treating," Craythorn said.