Freeman Health System reflects on impact of covid-19

Joplin Area Coronavirus

JOPLIN, Mo. — Covid-19 has forced thousands into a new way of life.

Its forced businesses to find new ways to get to customers.

The biggest impact–in hospitals.

Freeman Health System built an entire unit–from the ground up–dedicated to people who catch the disease.

Paula Baker, Freeman Health System CEO, said, “We have tested over 7,000 individuals for COVID, actually 7,115.”

Of that number, 491 people have tested positive.

“As of today, Freeman Health System has 23 patients that are positive for COVID.”

11 of which are in the hospital’s ICU C-zone, but the other 12 are being treated in a different unit.

Dr. Robert McNab, Medical Director, Freeman Health System COVID Unit, said, “Initially, our COVID unit was housed inside exclusively within an ICU.”

Doctors thought every covid-19 patient would be critically ill and possibly require a ventilator.

“But the truth is even though the ones that get hospitalized are very sick, a number of them really don’t ever reach that level of critical illness.”

So the hospital decided to construct a separate unit called the medical covid unit.

“So what we’ve done is we’ve opened up 15 beds that are more at a more general medical level. So that is a floor that is dedicated to those COVID patients exclusively, that are sick enough to be hospitalized, but really are not that close to needing respiratory care and ventilators, that sort of thing.”

A wall and doors were constructed to create a barrier and isolate the unit.

There’s even a place for staff to safely change in and out of personal protective equipment.

The health system looks forward to the new possibilities with this unit.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories