Cox South in Springfield has opened its COVID-19 intensive care unit due to growing admissions and disease prevalence. The unit, which was newly constructed in April, had its first patients on Wednesday. CoxHealth President and CEO Steve Edwards says 150 employees will operate the 51-bed unit.
“We’re going to keep more of those patients that are maybe the highest risk for transmission in that new unit,” says Edwards.
According to Edwards, the new ICU will free up regular ICU beds and conserve personal protective equipment.
“It’s a unit that’s highly efficient. Our doctors can look at all these patients at once,” says Edwards. “They’re not going in and out of rooms. That unit was designed for COVID – nothing else.”
Edwards says the hospital has a shortage of the experimental drug remdesivir and plasma donations from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19. Both are said to help reduce the recovery time of seriously ill coronavirus patients.
Bailey Strohl of KOLR-TV in Springfield contributed to this story.