JOPLIN, MO – Freeman Health System has made adjustments for some of its COVID patients.
It’s all thanks to what the health system has added.
Freeman Health System has opened a 3rd COVID unit.
This will act as a transitional unit from the ICU.
Currently, there are 46 COVID-19 hospitalizations at Freeman Health System, 7 of which are on ventilators.
Now, to help battle the virus, Freeman has opened a 3rd COVID-19 unit on the 6th floor of the hospital.
“This is in response to the increase in volume of in patient COVID patients that we’ve been seeing over the past month in a half that are really starting to surge up.” Says Dr. Robert McNab, Freeman Health System Director of COVID-19 Services.
Known as the “step-down unit,” although no one in this unit is on a ventilator, they still required more needs like high levels of oxygen; unlike patients in the medical COVID unit.
“This unit sits in the middle position. So, it’s patients that are still very severely sick, but they’re not at that ICU ventilator level.” Says Dr. McNab.
This new unit consists of 11 beds.
That’s 20% of the bed space Freeman has to offer.
While 9 of the, are in use, this new space helps free up room for patients that are in critical care.
“I need to conserve more space for those really critically ill patients that do need that level of ventilator care, so this allows me to free up a little bit of that resource.” Says Dr. McNab.
While Freeman is able to adjust to the needs of their patients, Dr. McNab adds, the real help is getting vaccinated.
“If this is something that I would recommend for my own health, or for my own loved ones, I would absolutely recommend it for everybody’s loved ones.” Says Dr. McNab.
With half of Freeman’s current COVID patients under the age of 60, Dr. McNab adds the younger population is at the highest risk of getting COVID.
Since the pandemic started, Freeman Health System staff have witnessed 16 patients pass away in their hospital beds.