Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the Web.
More people in Iowa test negative for coronavirus; Reynolds taps emergency center.
Officials in Iowa continue to prepare residents for the possibility that the novel coronavirus currently spreading across the United States could soon reach the state. Personnel at health care facilities, schools and businesses in Iowa say they’re heeding warnings about the virus, which causes a disease known as COVID-19. They’re taking precautionary measures that are gradually affecting Iowans’ lives in different ways. Although there are no confirmed cases of the novel virus in Iowa as of Saturday morning, here’s the latest on what Iowans need to know. (Des Moines Register)
Iowa’s congressional delegation approves money to combat coronavirus
Officials in Iowa continue to prepare residents for the possibility that the novel coronavirus, currently spreading across the United States, could soon reach the state. All of Iowa’s congressional delegation approved federal money this week to help combat coronavirus. The money includes more than $3 billion for research and development for vaccines, $2.2 billion for prevention and response, and $1 billion for state and local responses. (Des Moines Register)
Report: More EMT workers being assaulted on the job
Experts say more Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) workers are being assaulted, and it’s an issue becoming more common. Now, researchers at the University of Iowa are trying to figure out how to make jobs for EMTs safer. In a study released by UI, researchers say more than 57% of EMT workers say they have been attacked while out on a call. They say paramedics may work in dangerous situations without police or fire there to back them up. (KCRG)
Hospitals use telemedicine to minimize contact with virus patients
Hospitals and doctors have a message for patients who want to come in because of fears they might be infected by the novel coronavirus: Try the phone first. Doctor groups, hospitals and health insurers are increasingly steering people with mild or no symptoms toward initial visits conducted by phone, interactive video or secure messaging. They are also starting to use the technology to care remotely for people with suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus. (Wall Street Journal)
During a pandemic, states’ patchwork of crisis plans could mean uneven care
A possible coronavirus pandemic could overwhelm the nation’s hospitals and force doctors into difficult decisions about how to allocate limited resources. Yet, experts say, only a handful of states have done the work necessary to prepare for such worst-case scenarios. How would hospitals handle overflowing emergency rooms? What would doctors do if they ran out of medicines or ventilators? How would they decide who gets prioritized if they can’t treat everyone? (Kaiser Health News)
Blood drives – and donors – fall off as coronavirus worries grow
Mounting warnings that Americans should stay home and avoid crowds to stop the spread of a deadly new coronavirus are triggering an unexpected — and potentially ominous — downside: a drop in the nation’s blood supply. Dozens of blood drives have been canceled and regular donors are no-shows, industry officials said, especially in states like Washington and California, where the virus is spreading more broadly within communities and health officials are urging residents to avoid public gatherings to reduce risk. (Kaiser Health News)