Marshall County doctors worn out by coronavirus stress, see hope in growing recoveries

Marshall County health officials gave an update on how the county is dealing with coronavirus.

Posted: Jul 30, 2020 8:28 PM
Updated: Jul 30, 2020 9:16 PM

Thursday morning, Marshall County health officials gave an update on how the county is dealing with coronavirus.

Doctors and nurses at Marshall Medical Centers say the stress from coronavirus is starting to wear them out.

"The last four weeks have been very challenging for us. There were many days that we reached capacity which meant that we didn’t have any beds for patients to come to, which then backed up our emergency departments," said Kathy Woodruff, Marshall Medical Centers Director of Nursing.

She said there are a total of 25 patients with coronavirus at the north and south campus. Ten of them are in intensive care and five are on ventilators.

"Most of them are here anywhere from one week, to six weeks," she said.

"For example, we just discharged a patient (Wednesday who) had been with us since June 3, so they are very sick and they stay a long long time which then affects our capacity and our ability to have beds for patients."

Doctors say at times it’s overwhelming.

"I witnessed my colleagues go through things that I’d rather them not have to go through as well. I wish none of this had really ever happened," said Dr. Victor Sparks, Medical Director of the Emergency Department at Marshall Medical Center North.

But there is a glimmer of hope. Woodruff says this past week they’ve had several coronavirus patients go home.

"We have had many discharges, so our capacity is better, we’re able to breathe a little bit now, we’re about to feel a little sense of relief which is very encouraging," said Woodruff.

Woodruff also said they have had enough supplies for staff and ventilators for patients who need them.

Health officials also shared their thoughts and concerns on the beginning of the school year.

Sparks said people have to trust that educators are doing all they can to protect your children if you choose to send them back into the classroom.

"It's been quite obvious that all the school systems, at least in our county, have done the absolute best they can to try to determine how are we going to keep everything clean. How are we going to space these students? How are we going to comfortably allow them to be at class all day with masks, on particularly for the older kids?" said Sparks.

Health officials say with school starting back up, as much as they hope to avoid it, they have no doubt there will be positive coronavirus cases in schools.

Woodruff has this recommendation if you think your child has coronavirus: "Please don't rush to the emergency department unless they need to be seen in the emergency department for shortness of breath and those kinds of things. If you're just worried because they were in the class with Sally, and now Sally is positive, you need to make an appointment with your doctor's office or go to one of the testing centers to be tested."

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