Ripple effect of patient load at Mercy Springfield affecting rural hospitals in Cassville, Aurora



The pressure on Springfield hospitals to deal with the growing variety of COVID-19 instances has had a ripple impact on rural hospitals as properly.

As an illustration Mercy’s 18-bed Cassville hospital normally averages solely three new sufferers a day.

Aurora’s 46 mattress facility averages four-to-five.

However at present they’ve a couple of dozen sufferers every together with 5 COVID-19 sufferers in Cassville and 6 in Aurora.

Below regular circumstances these COVID-19 sufferers could be transferred to Springfield however with Mercy at present full with 98 pandemic-related instances, there’s no room for them.

“We don’t have intensive care items in Aurora and Cassville and so if we’ve somebody who for example must be on a ventilator, that will all the time be one thing we might switch to the place there’s an intensive care unit,” defined Dr. Benjamin Leavitt, who works within the ER division at each Cassville and Aurora. “So we get fairly nervous once we discover on the market’s no ICU beds within the space.”

“Traditionally previous to COVID we may make one or two cellphone calls and get that affected person the place they wanted to be,” added Valerie Davis, Mercy Administrator for each the Cassville and Aurora services. “Now our suppliers and our nursing staffers are making 10, 15, 20 calls earlier than we discover a mattress that’s obtainable. We’ve needed to ship them so far as Little Rock, Arkansas.”

Whereas Cassville and Aurora have added extra ventilators and brought steps to raised deal with pandemic instances, they each deal primarily in ER and outpatient providers and their essential job is to deal with sufferers and ship them residence or stabilize and switch them to greater hospitals.

However the scarcity of ICU beds at these bigger services additionally means different sufferers are affected too.

“ICU beds aren’t only for COVID sufferers,” David identified. “We nonetheless have strokes, coronary heart assaults, issues that we simply can’t repair.”

It took some time for the virus to surge in Barry and Lawrence counties however now they’ve larger per-capita charges of individuals testing constructive for COVID-19 than Springfield’s Greene County.

And fewer folks carrying masks.

“I feel that’s true,” Dr. Leavitt mentioned. “It looks as if there’s quite a bit much less folks right here carrying masks so we do want to alter that tradition within the rural areas as a result of I feel we’re being hit as exhausting percentage-wise as the opposite locations are.”

And with projections that issues will worsen earlier than they get higher?

“My greatest concern is attending to the purpose the place every thing we’ve isn’t sufficient,” Davis mentioned. “It’s extraordinarily tough when we’ve these tragic circumstances when it’s those that we all know and love.”

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