RMH leads other Sentara hospitals in number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of Monday

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 7:04 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - According to a new COVID-19 hospitalization dashboard released by Sentara on Monday, RMH has 61 COVID patients making up 32% of its hospitalizations.

Out of Sentara’s 12 other hospitals in Virginia and in parts of North Carolina RMH is leading with the largest number of COVID patients with Sentara Leigh Hospital in Norfolk following with 48 COVID patients as of Monday.

Monday morning officials with RMH held a press conference to explain to the community what they are seeing.

“When you think about these numbers each one is an individual from our community that is without visitors and without loved ones as they heal,” Doug Moyer, president of Sentara RMH, said.

Moyer says the current surge in cases is taxing the entire hospital, creating longer wait time in the E.R pushing to a longer wait for a patient to receive a bed.

Front line workers who have been working since the start of the pandemic are beginning to feel if not already burnt out.

“We are now spending hours a shift working with patients to ensure they can breathe comfortably all while still trying to provide that empathy and care to your loved ones who haven’t seen their families in weeks,” Cassey Cook, a nurse in RMH’s COVID unit, said. “We leave our shifts drained every day still wondering what else we can do and we never get to fully walk away. "

Officials say because of the need for staff some elective surgeries have been asked to be put on hold while staff is moved around.

Doctors are comparing this spike in cases to last winter saying this time ventilators are being used less thanks to vaccinations.

“It’s been running somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of people sick enough to come into the hospital end up on a vent,” Dr. Russ Ford, with Sentara RMH, said.

Dr. Ford said what’s different this time around if the people who are coming in are no longer those 65 and older.

“We’re seeing pregnant ladies coming in sick with the virus and we’re seeing college students come in with the virus and young health working adults,” Dr. Ford said.

Ford said RMH has a contingency plan in case COVID hospitalizations continue.

“We’re probably 25 beds short of max ... 87 percent capacity,” Ford said.

Officials with RMH believe they will still reach their highest peak of COVID patients next week based on data they’ve followed through the entire pandemic.

The hospital is asking for anyone who is not yet vaccinated to receive their shots.

RMH says the COVID dashboard will be updated daily.

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