MONROE, La (KTVE/KARD) — St. Francis Medical Center ICU directors say for four straight months they remained steady having about 40 to 50 COVID-19 patients hospitalized at one time. However, over the last two weeks, they’ve seen a gradual decline, with only having 22 patients in the hospital right now. That’s almost a 60% reduction since the beginning of the pandemic.
“We’re still seeing a lot of ER patients on a daily basis, but not all of those are having to be admitted, which we’re grateful for,” said John Bruchhaus, Co-ICU Director at St. Francis Medical Center.
Doctor Bruchhaus says part of the reason they’ve been able to lower hospitalizations is due to three types of treatment St. Francis is using.
“The first being Remdesivir, which is an anti-viral. It doesn’t improve mortality in a patient, but it does help the patients that are going to get better, get better sooner, and be discharged sooner. The biggest game-changer has been Decadron, which is a steroid that’s been around for years and that has improved mortality in our critically ill patients. The third thing we treat patients with is convalescent plasma. We’ve treated over 100 patients at St. Francis with convalescent plasma,” said Bruchhaus.
He says another way they’ve been helping COVID-19 patients is putting them on a non-invasive ventilation system or using high flow oxygen.
“Patients do better the longer we can keep them off the ventilator, so we’ve seen fewer and fewer patients that require the ventilator,” said Bruchhaus.
As summer comes to an end, Dr. Bruchhaus says they’re prepared for anything this fall including the possibility of a second way of COVID-19.
“We may very well see part of a second wave through the end of the Fall. With the hurricane and with everyone’s power out and the school’s being closed, we haven’t truly seen how much of a rise we’re gonna have with school’s being back in session, so we’re prepared for that,” said Bruchhaus.
As the state of Louisiana moves to phase three, St. Francis Medical Center says they do have a plan to adjust visitation guidelines and when KTVE/KARD gets that information, we will release the update.