The part we don’t see in the fight against COVID-19

ER doctor opens up about treating COVID

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Dr. Blake Lovely said he and many others are working long hours and doing their best to heal COVID-19 positive patients.

Each life saved can be a short-lived victory simply because of the amount of people they are caring for.

“There’s days of the week where you’re getting overwhelmed with coronavirus patients,” Dr. Lovely explained.

Lovely, an Emergency Room physician and an ER Director at Tuscaloosa’s DCH Regional Medical Center, felt if people saw what he witnessed daily, while caring for coronavirus patients they would take the virus more seriously.

“That’s one of the things that I regret, there’s not more footage or knowledge of what actually goes on at the hospital,” Lovely added.

“I mean we have 160 patients right now, inpatient with coronavirus and you see how many of them are on breathing machines to help them breathe and we have people dying several a times a week here at this hospital,” he said.

DCH switched out rooms to create more space for the high number of coronavirus patients. “We have entire floors dedicated to just coronavirus.”

Lovely said the past year has been stressful for almost everyone in healthcare, but especially front line workers. Fourteen-hour days are not uncommon for some at DCH. He recounted days when he has left the hospital feeling exhausted, but also proud of the effort he and others put into their jobs.

“First and foremost we have an obligation. We’ve taken an oath and we have an obligation to our patients. I feel a dedication and an obligation to this community to make sure they’re safe from this virus as much as possible.”

Lovely asked people with loved ones in healthcare to reach out and check on them. He also wanted people to be patient until the vaccine is more readily available and continue to take precautions that make it harder for coronavirus to spread.

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