Some Kentucky hospitals doing more infusion treatments, others adding temporary care units

Coronavirus Watch

(WEHT) As hospitals in Kentucky keep treating more COVID-19 patients, some hospitals report more infusion treatments for those with symptoms, while others are adding more units to start treatments for their patients.

At the infusion tent outside Owensboro Health, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Francis DuFrayne says they’ve done up to 16 Regeneron treatments a day in the past two weeks.

“Typically now because of the Delta variant, its been shown in the first three days as best, and it really helps to decrease your symptoms and lessen your chance of admission to the hospital and severe illness,” he said, explaining how the Regeneron treatments work.

Dr. DuFrayne also says more than 420 infusions have been given in the past several months. He adds their ability to do those treatments depend on supplies, and available staffing, which he says staffing shortages are happening at hospitals around the nation.

“It takes three nurses to do it, so I have to pull the nurses from elsewhere, the ICU, the operating room, the nursing room to do that, which leaves them short staffed. So, that’s the everyday struggle,” he said.

Owensboro Health reports a total of 70 hospitalized patients in their system as of Thursday, 55 of them unvaccinated. Ohio County Healthcare officials say of their 24 inpatients, which puts them near capacity, six have COVID-19.

“We have seen a few vaccinated individuals who meet criteria to be admitted, but their stay with us is much shorter and the severity of their illness is much less than the unvaccinated,” said CeCe Robinson of Ohio Co. Healthcare.

They also will put up a temporary unit to meet rising cases, where they will start screening for symptoms in patients, and determine how they will be treated.

“This is an intermediate structure, so that we can get the actual plan of care underway,” said Ray Simon, Emergency Dept. manager. “There are logistics that have been evaluated, and for a more semi permanent structure that will enhance our care of our patients.”

The temporary unit is expected to be put up within the next week.

(This story was originally published on August 27, 2021)

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