Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the web.
By far, November has proved to be the deadliest month ever in Iowa for COVID-19, claiming 688 lives and ranking the state among the nation’s grimmest when adjusted for population. Worse, November’s deadly record comes on top of October’s deadly record — and far outpaces it. October’s 372 COVID-19 deaths was a peak until November’s toll nearly doubled. According to databases maintained by the Washington Post and the New York Times, Iowa currently ranks sixth worst in the nation for its average rate of deaths per 100,000 people. (The Gazette)
After weeks of record-breaking COVID-19 hospitalizations that greatly strained capacity at health care systems across the state, local hospitals are preparing for a surge in new cases that likely will follow the Thanksgiving holiday. Throughout the pandemic, it’s been typical for Iowa — as well as the rest of the country — to see a spike in residents testing positive for the novel coronavirus following holidays and other occasions that prompt residents to gather outside their household groups. (The Gazette)
MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center has received a second new drug to help in the fight against COVID-19. Regeneron is different from Bam, the first new drug; it has two antibodies. Data shows both drugs are good at stopping the virus, but Regeneron is designed to be given to high-risk patients right after they’re diagnosed with COVID-19. (KMEG)
Public health officials voted Tuesday to add residents of long-term care facilities to front-line health care workers as the first Americans to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Nursing home residents previously had been further down the priority list to vaccinate as doses become available. (Des Moines Register)
Necessity is the mother of invention, it’s said. The University of Kansas Health System found itself pivoting when the coronavirus pandemic required office closures and physical distancing. The measures were designed with safety in mind, but patients still needed care. Expanded telehealth services – also known as telemedicine services – were launched. (Kansas City Business Journal)
As Dr. Shane Wilson makes the rounds at the tiny, 25-bed hospital in rural northeastern Missouri, many of his movements are familiar in an age of coronavirus. Masks and gloves. Zippered plastic walls between hallways. Hand sanitizer as he enters and exits each room. But one thing is starkly different. Born and raised in the town of just 1,800, Wilson knows most of his patients by their first names. He visits a woman who used to be a gym teacher at his school, and later laughingly recalls a day she caught him smoking at school and made him and a friend pick up cigarette butts as punishment. Another man was in the middle of his soybean harvest when he fell ill and couldn’t finish. (ActionNewsJax.com)