Today’s NewsStand — April 9, 2020

Today’s NewsStand — April 9, 2020

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|April 9, 2020

Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the web.

Iowa news

Nurse’s social media post makes her a face, voice for health care workers in COVID-19 fight

“I’m not really used to be the center of attention. I don’t like it. It’s not really my thing.” Tough luck for Syndi Lane. She’s something of a social media star now – thanks to a post about working in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic as a trauma nurse at Mercy Cedar Rapids. She shared those perspectives in an exclusive interview with Iowa’s News Now on April 1. It was born from a sleepless night after work on March 26. (KGAN-TV)

For National Public Health Week, a perspective on lessons from COVID-19

This week marks the 25th annual celebration of National Public Health Week, a celebration typically marked by public health professionals without much public fanfare. Perhaps there are social media posts, a proclamation or a legislative resolution. Some health departments plan community events focused on the daily themes. It’s unlikely that Hallmark will produce National Public Health Week greeting cards, but here we are with many Iowans keenly focused on public health amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With public health in the spotlight, we have an opportunity to call attention to the challenges and opportunities facing public health in our state. (Des Moines Register)

UI hospital using virtual technology to treat virus patients

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics reported Friday that it has successfully treated dozens of COVID-19 patients through a program that allows them to stay in their homes while they recover. Doctors use virtual technology to check daily on patients who have been diagnosed with the disease, freeing up the hospital for the small percentage of those who need more intensive care. So far, 35 patients in the program have recovered while only three have needed to be admitted to the hospital, said UIHC chief medical officer Theresa Brennan. Another 38 are still being monitored through the program. (Telegraph Herald)

National news

The COVID-19 crisis is going to get much worse when it hits rural areas

Over the past few weeks, our urban centers have scrambled to mobilize in response to the mounting COVID-19 cases. But be forewarned: It’s only a matter of time before the virus attacks small, often forgotten towns and rural counties. And that’s where this disease will hit hardest. COVID-19 is infiltrating more of the country with each passing day. Colorado, Utah and Idaho are grappling with sudden clusters in counties popular with out-of-state tourists. Cases are also skyrocketing in Southern states such as Georgia, Florida and Louisiana. So far, sparsely populated communities have been better insulated from the spread. But since no place in the United States is truly isolated, there’s simply no outrunning this virus. Every community is at imminent risk. (Washington Post)

Rural hospitals rely on big-city safety nets. Coronavirus means there may be no one to save them

In normal times, Mammoth Lakes relies on tourists — skiers who fly into the 8,000-person California mountain town in the winter, and hikers and fishermen who flock there in the summer — for its livelihood. Mammoth Lakes’ remote location, three hours from Reno, Nevada, and five hours from Los Angeles, is part of what makes the town a serene getaway. But with just one hospital, 17 beds and four ventilators, locals worry that they’re sitting ducks if, or more likely when, COVID-19 spreads here in earnest. Fifteen patients so far have tested positive at Mammoth Hospital, three-quarters of whom have needed ventilators. While the hospital transferred patients who needed higher-level care to partner hospitals, Thomas Parker, Mammoth’s CEO, worries about what will happen in a few weeks, when those partner hospitals inevitably fill up. (

New algorithm aims to protect surgical team members against infection with COVID-19 virus

Researchers from Stanford University’s department of surgery have created an algorithm that aims to protect operating room team members who perform urgent and emergency operations from Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and rationally conserve the personal protective equipment (PPE) they wear. This best practice guideline is published as an “article in press” on the Journal of the American College of Surgeons website ahead of print. (Science Daily)

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