Helen Keller Hospital almost triples number of coronavirus patients in a week

The hospital now has 34 coronavirus patients in its care.

Posted: Jul 24, 2020 3:56 PM
Updated: Jul 24, 2020 6:58 PM

On Friday, WAAY 31 learned that Helen Keller Hospital in Sheffield is seeing its largest number of coronavirus patients ever.

Right now, the hospital has 34 coronavirus patients in their COVID-19 ICU unit. Last Friday, they only had 12 coronavirus patients.

"We've seen twice as much inpatient activity. We've adjusted to accommodate that demand, but it's very concerning at this point," said Helen Keller President Kyle Buchanan.

Buchanan said they have a flexible coronavirus unit that can expand and contract depending on the number of coronavirus patients, but this week, they've had to expand it.

"We're taking care of a lot of very sick COVID patients. If that doubles and triples again, it will put a strain on our resources, but at this point, we feel comfortable with how many we have in critical care," said Buchanan.

Buchanan said even now, they have room to expand and he's hopeful they will see the benefits of the state's mask order. The mask order went into effect on July 16.

"We expect there will be a 14 time period where we will start to see the effects of that, but we're still working really hard to take care of the patients we realize will come through our ER, and we think that will increase before it decreases," said Buchanan.

Buchanan said the hospital has not had to transfer coronavirus patients to other hospitals and said their ICU beds aren't full.

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