Deaconess doctor discusses potential COVID-19 surge plan

Deaconess doctor discusses potential COVID-19 surge plan

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Medical officials at Deaconess say they are seeing an increase in patients due to COVID-19.

Dr. Brad Sheu, Chief Medical Officer of Deaconess Clinic, says they have not seen a lot of flu activity within the community. The majority of patients are being treated for COVID-19.

“I think what concerns me the most is what’s to come with flu and flu season, and if people are taking enough action individually to help prevent that spread as we enter the flu and holiday season, knowing that families are going to get together, people are going to travel," Dr. Scheu said.

However, he says they do expect to see more flu patients as the holiday season draws near, so they do have a surge plan in place. They have converted several rooms into negative airflow rooms to accommodate COVID-19 patients, which means that more units within the hospital will be able to provide that care.

Many staff members have also been trained for critical care needs with skills to be able to operate ventilators and administer special medications.

“I think we have a deep labor pool of providers willing to do more than maybe their typical jobs if necessary," Dr. Scheu said. “And we haven’t had to really dip into that at this point, but definitely have a plan if needed."

Deaconess also has an Incident Command Team that meets several times per week to monitor capacity levels and make sure their staffing ratios are adequate.

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