Rural hospitals still rely on UAB for help during pandemic

UAB's role in healthcare across the state

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - In normal times, a lot of rural hospitals and clinics rely on UAB and similar hospitals to accept very sick patients who need specialized services in those areas that do not offer them.

Right now, UAB and other hospitals are stretched thin treating COVID-19 patients. It can cause a backup in the system, especially for people needing non-COVID related care.

Doctors cannot stress it enough: Do your part to slow the spread of COVID so that the healthcare system won’t be on the brink of disaster.

“When UAB is really saturated with patients who have coronavirus that becomes the priority and unfortunately there are a lot of patients trying to get into tertiary care hospitals across the US right and a lot of these tertiary care hospitals have come out and said we’re very, very full we won’t be able to provide these services to these rural communities,” said Dr. Ellen Eaton, an assistant professor in the UAB Division of Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Eaton says everyone wants to return to normal so that our healthcare system can return to normal helping folks with routine outpatient procedures. Some of those are on hold because of rising hospitalizations with COVID-19.

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