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Polk County hospitals work together amid surge of COVID-19 patients – KCCI Des Moines

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Nov 12, 2020

As record COVID-19 hospitalizations continue in Iowa, hospitals in the Des Moines metro are working together to meet the critical need for care.On Monday, UnityPoint Health reported its Des Moines hospitals as being at capacity. MercyOne Des Moines reported facilities near capacity.“We’re seeing an increased number of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization, and we’re seeing both a mix of moderately ill and severely ill (patients),” MercyOne infectious disease specials Dr. Ravi Vemuri said. As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported 1,190 COVID-19 hospitalizations. Of those patients, 230 were admitted to hospitals in the last 24 hours.In the metro, hospitalization spikes are forcing MercyOne and UnityPoint hospitals to transfer patients to Broadlawns Medical Center.“If needed, Broadlawns can accept some patients to help with patient counts to make things a little bit more balanced with UnityPoint and Mercy,” said Katie Wingert of Broadlawns Medical Center.Some metro hospitals said they have enough beds but are short on staff. One doctor at the VA Hospital told KCCI on Wednesday that its intensive care unit is full, causing her to work 12-hour days for nine consecutive days.Wingert said front-line workers at many hospitals are sick themselves or requiring quarantine. “I think all of the hospitals are also watching fatigue,” she said. “This pandemic has had staffing on high alert since March. So, (we are) watching to make sure there is a measure of self-care for our staff (and) that they are taking time to attend to their own needs, too.”Despite record COVID-19 hospitalizations, metro hospitals urge Iowans not to delay care for other conditions, including chest pain or strokes. MercyOne Des Moines and UnityPoint Health Des Moines said they are not turning away anyone in need of medical attention.

As record COVID-19 hospitalizations continue in Iowa, hospitals in the Des Moines metro are working together to meet the critical need for care.

On Monday, UnityPoint Health reported its Des Moines hospitals as being at capacity. MercyOne Des Moines reported facilities near capacity.

“We’re seeing an increased number of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization, and we’re seeing both a mix of moderately ill and severely ill (patients),” MercyOne infectious disease specials Dr. Ravi Vemuri said.

As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported 1,190 COVID-19 hospitalizations. Of those patients, 230 were admitted to hospitals in the last 24 hours.

In the metro, hospitalization spikes are forcing MercyOne and UnityPoint hospitals to transfer patients to Broadlawns Medical Center.

“If needed, Broadlawns can accept some patients to help with patient counts to make things a little bit more balanced with UnityPoint and Mercy,” said Katie Wingert of Broadlawns Medical Center.

Some metro hospitals said they have enough beds but are short on staff.

One doctor at the VA Hospital told KCCI on Wednesday that its intensive care unit is full, causing her to work 12-hour days for nine consecutive days.

Wingert said front-line workers at many hospitals are sick themselves or requiring quarantine.

“I think all of the hospitals are also watching fatigue,” she said. “This pandemic has had staffing on high alert since March. So, (we are) watching to make sure there is a measure of self-care for our staff (and) that they are taking time to attend to their own needs, too.”

Despite record COVID-19 hospitalizations, metro hospitals urge Iowans not to delay care for other conditions, including chest pain or strokes.

MercyOne Des Moines and UnityPoint Health Des Moines said they are not turning away anyone in need of medical attention.

 

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