Uptick in local cases causing increase in covid patients at Freeman Health System

Joplin Area Coronavirus

JOPLIN, Mo. — With an covid cases increasing locally, Freeman Health System Administrators say there’s hope for recovery.

Paula Baker, Freeman Health System CEO, said, “We have tested almost 3-thousand people to date, since COVID emerged.”

The uptick in covid-19 cases locally is resulting in an increase in patients at Freeman Health System.

“We have 25 COVID-positive patients in our hospital.”

Doctors say they are continually increasing their services to take care of this surge, down to the medication their providing to patients.

Dr. Robert McNab, Medical Director, Freeman Health System COVID Unit: “Like convalescent plasma, we are treating our patients with that.”

Zach Stivers, Blood Bank Coordinator:”Here at the blood bank, what we do is perform the testing to determine a patient’s blood type and then we work with the physician to submit a request to the FDA to get emergency approval for the convalescent plasma from the blood center. “

Convalescent plasma is the liquid part of blood collected from patients who have recovered from an infection.

“The theory behind this is that there are antibodies in the recovered donors, who are donating the convalescent plasma that may be helpful to the patients that are symptomatic with COVID at this time.”

Patients are also being treated with other drugs like decadron–which treats inflammation and remdesivir.

“Which is the antiviral that the FDA is currently recommended. Most of our severe patients are being treated with that.”

Which is given intravenously to attack the disease and was previously used in treating ebola.

“So all the standard of care as the CDC and the FDA have rolled out those recommendations, we’ve been able to obtain those supplies and been able to provide them to people in our community.

“But I want to reassure you that we are more than equipped to handle this at Freeman, we have everything we need to take care of patients with COVID, or who are suspected COVID, we have a safe environment to treat people and just remember that this to will pass,” said Baker.

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