Marshall Medical Centers see most coronavirus inpatients since pandemic began

Right now, there are 38 inpatients at Marshall Medical North and South combined.

Posted: Nov 17, 2020 5:56 PM
Updated: Nov 17, 2020 5:59 PM

On Tuesday, the two hospitals that make up the Marshall Medical Centers are seeing the highest number of coronavirus inpatients since the pandemic started eight months ago.

Right now, there are 38 inpatients at Marshall Medical North and South combined.

At Marshall Medical South, they have 12 ICU beds and every single one of them is taken by a person with coronavirus. Hospital officials say they do have a plan in place if there aren't enough ICU beds for patients.

"These patients don't have a quick turnaround, you know, they are very sick and they stay in the intensive care unit for a while. So, it is concerning. We do have contingency plans for that if we were to get in a bind where we had more ICU patients than we have beds. We're not there yet, but we have a plan for that," said Kathy Woodruff, Chief Nursing Officer, Marshall Medical Centers.

Woodruff says that plan could include sending patients to other facilities.

'We're part of Huntsville Health System, and we can reach out to our sister hospitals, but the problem with that is, all of North Alabama is kinda having a surge right now so their beds may be full, too, so we do have some resources to reach out and we also have some other facilities we can reach out to," said Woodruff.

Woodruff says with next week's Thanksgiving holiday approaching, she hopes people keep in mind the importance of social distancing, especially since she says a lot of the people who they see in the hospital say they have gotten it through being around family.

"There are a lot of family members that are admitted to the hospital, you know, three at the same time or over a week's period, too. They'll come to the hospital and say 'well, everyone in my family has it,'" said Woodruff.

Woodruff also says that even with the increase, the two hospitals have enough personal protective equipment and ventilators for patients and staff.

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