Doctor in COVID battle recalls the heartbreak and hope of early pandemic - ABC News
May 13, 2022 1 min, 28 secs

The sound of construction around Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital is hard to miss.

Only a few months ago, the parking lot outside of Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey was essentially a battlefield hospital.

Oren Friedman, a pulmonologist and medical director of the Cedars-Sinai ICU.

“Just the amount of patients that we had that needed hospital support and ICU support.

We relied on as much of the literature that was coming out,” Friedman explained during a recent visit to the hospital.

“A lot of the times I felt like: ‘How can I do this?’ But I think with the teamwork aspect here at [Cedars-Sinai] Marina del Rey and the friendships that you form with the staff and other leadership it just makes everything easier.”.

It was that teamwork that hospital staff says got them through it.

“There was a cohesiveness, I suppose, because everyone was on the same mission together to take care of all of these patients.

“We had never seen that many patients who were that critically ill on ventilators,” Friedman said.

For the health care providers in the ICU at Cedars-Sinai, there was nothing more aggravating than those who claimed the virus was not serious.

Do you realize what it looks like inside of the hospital.

Friedman said after the first surge, medical staff could feel that the general population wanted to move on from the virus but the virus was not done with Americans.

It felt like you were fighting a war, but when you returned home from the battle people just simply didn’t believe that war was even occurring,” he said

Now with the large tent gone and fewer COVID-19 patients, things are quieter at the hospital

It’s a number that most people have a hard time fathoming,” Friedman said

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