St. Vincent’s Hospital enacts a portion of its surge plan

St. Vincent's Hospital surge plan

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - St. Vincent’s Hospital has enacted a portion of its surge plan to help deal with the rising number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations.

The system has dedicated beds, where it can successfully isolate patients with COVID-19.

But even though the hospital system has had to use a portion of its surge plan, St. Vincent’s Chief of Nursing and Operations said the system is well-prepared to treat patients with COVID-19, as well as those who have non-COVID-related medical needs.

“We’re blessed because we’re part of a health system, so we have 5 hospitals, so we’re able to see our census kind of across those 5 hospitals, and if someone comes to one but they live closer to another and they’re stable enough to transfer, we can even sort of balance some of the census across our hospitals,” CNO and COO for St. Vincent’s, Chris Moore.

He said since June 23rd, the entire health system has seen an increase in the number of patients being admitted with COVID-19.

“Today, our COVID census is 98. So, the good part about that though is that we have the two largest hospitals, St. Vincent’s Birmingham and St. Vincent’s East, and those two hospitals have the large majority of our COVID-19 patients, and at both of those hospitals the census of COVID-19 patients, as compared to our total census is right around 15%,” Moore explained.

He said there are more than 800 in-patient beds across the entire system of five hospitals, so 15% isn’t an overwhelming percentage.

“We able to successfully cohort and quarantine those patients while we’re still running our other operations, you know, running the ER, running surgeries and all those other areas,” Moore said.

And as Alabama faced its highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths this week, Moore said he hopes people will understand that this virus is real.

“We’re seeing it across the Birmingham community at all the different hospitals that the COVID census is up, and we’re able to successfully quarantine that and take great care of that and keep running all of our other operations right now and we’re prepared should we have to do more but at the same time it would be great to not have to do that it be great if the community would really take this seriously, social distance, were their masks and not put our elderly population at risk,” Moore explained.

Moore said he’s worried people won’t do those things to help stop the spread of the virus, but he said hopes people will come to common understanding about this virus soon.

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