Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the web.
‘We’re as good as anybody right now’ on COVID-19 readiness
Having one of Iowa’s earliest cases of coronavirus here catalyzed the Carroll County medical profession’s response the point that St. Anthony Regional Hospital’s chief medical officer reports favorable preparedness today, the result of what Dr. Kyle Ulveling says was an all-hands-on-deck head start. By the numbers, that means St. Anthony Regional Hospital has 16 intensive care unit rooms (and soon 10 ventilators) on the ready should the region the hospital serves — Carroll and surrounding counties — find itself battling a surge in COVID-19 cases. (Carroll Times Herald)
Iowa City hospitals set up clinics for symptomatic coronavirus patients
Mercy Iowa City and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics have recently opened new clinics aimed at diagnosing patients experiencing influenza-like symptoms. Representatives say these clinics help isolate where patients, who are potentially COVID-19-positive, receive care from medical professionals. The goal is to reduce exposure to health care workers and other patients and also preserve personal protective equipment, which is in extremely low supply across the country. Since a testing site and an acute respiratory clinic opened late last week and Monday, respectively, in the same Coralville parking lot, about 65 people have been seen at this separate location, according to Margaret Reese, public information officer for Mercy Iowa City.
Rural America is not ready for COVID-19
I’m terrified. As an infectious disease doctor living in rural Iowa, the COVID-19 pandemic has me terrified. If you listen to the president’s briefings, you would think we have things under control. That, as one rural state governor stated on March 26, we “are bending the curve.” As a public health researcher, I worry that these are woeful misrepresentations of the numbers. As an infectious disease doctor hearing the stories from my friends and colleagues on the front lines in New York, Massachusetts, and California, I’m shaken that false optimism is our nation’s credo. As a resident of rural America, I know we’re not ready for the horrifying surprise about to hit our communities. (Des Moines Register)
Holdout governors: Some states don’t need stay-at-home order
Even as most Americans are under orders from their governor to stay at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, leaders in a handful of states have steadfastly refused to take that action, arguing it’s unneeded and could be harmful. Nine governors have refused to issue statewide mandates that people stay at home, but local leaders have taken action in some of those states. North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Arkansas are the only states where no one is under a stay-at-home order. The lack of action from those governors – even as they take other steps such as closing schools and limiting the size of gatherings – has frustrated health experts and left some residents puzzled. (KAAL)
Saint Al’s, St. Luke’s hospitals open mini-grocery stores to protect health care workers
Hospitals around the Treasure Valley are making grocery shopping a little easier for their employees amid the coronavirus pandemic. Mini-grocery stores are now in place at Saint Alphonsus hospitals in Boise, Nampa and Ontario, and at St. Luke’s hospitals in Boise, Meridian, Nampa and Twin Falls. The makeshift stores began after staffers began making room in their cafeterias. Instead of having to wait in line at a supermarket and be exposed to more people to buy a gallon of milk or toilet paper, employees can grab what they need from the hospital’s store, check out and be on their way home. (The Idaho Statesman)
How coronavirus threatens to overrun one Southern city
At Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center, the staff has spent the past few days MacGyvering gear: Can anesthesia machines be repurposed as ventilators? Looks like it. Do handsewn masks help stanch the shortage of medical-grade gear? Absolutely. On a Monday Zoom conference call, Piedmont Athens Regional Chief Executive Officer Michael Burnett told civic leaders in this college town better known for R.E.M. and Georgia Bulldogs football: “I have a UGA mask a nurse’s mom made for me. I’m stylin’.”