UCI-led study finds disparities in severe illness and lengthy hospitalizations between undocumented and Medi-Cal patients

Lithium is a common medication prescribed to patients with psychiatric disorders, namely bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression. It is used as a mood stabilizer and lessens the intensity of manic episodes, with particular benefit in reducing suicidality. While highly effective, the drug requires routine blood monitoring, which can be uncomfortable, expensive, and inconvenient for patients who must travel to clinical labs for frequent blood testing.

Due to the COVID surge, ambulances in the Los Angeles area are refusing to transfer patients with no chance of survival

As the surge of COVID-19 cases increase exponentially across the U.S., the hospitals in the Los Angeles metro area have been particularly hit hard. There are now more than 7,600 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Los Angeles County. Ambulance crews in the area have been advised to cut back on their use of oxygen and to not bring to hospitals patients who have virtually no chance of survival in order to increase capacity and triage care to focus on the sickest patients.