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Springfield hospitals expand cardiovascular services amid rising number of patients

Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 5:10 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A new, 24 bed cardiovascular unit is now open at at Cox South Hospital, to better prepare for an increase in people with heart conditions.

Administrative director of Cardiovascular Services at CoxHealth Becky Watts said the number of cardiac patients coming in is on the rise, but the need for cardiovascular services has always been there.

Watts said fear may have kept some of those patients from seeing a doctor.

”I think they stayed home and had their heart attack at home because they were so afraid of the virus and coming into the hospital," she said.

Watts said the hospitals shut down, or limited many services during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since reopening cardiac services, she said they’ve seen a significant surge.

”We have been working at 125% to 150% of what we were doing before,” Watts said.

Mercy Hospital has seen a similar pattern in patients.

”We’re at a very stressful time in this country and I think it’s deriving a lot of health issues,” said cardiologist Dr. David Cochran..

Cochran said back in March and April, patient volumes were down.

”June and July we’ve seen a large number,” he said. “I can’t quantitate it for you, but it’s as busy as we typically are."

Mercy’s Heart Hospital is opening in phases. It is currently in phase two. Its final phase is in October.

”Now especially this year with this, this concentrates us away from other parts of the hospital, it minimizes the footprint patients have to travel,” Cochran said.

Watts said Cox’s additional space will be used to care for patients before and after procedures.

”It helps us to not only expand the care for our cardiovascular patients but also make more capacity in our whole health system," she said.

Watts said she is sure all 24 beds will be filled.

“When people began to come back in and physicians were seeing their patients and getting them directed back into the system so they could get the care they need, we had seen a huge bump in the volume of patients,” Watts said. “So, we have quite a few, we will fill this unit up without any trouble.”

The cardiac unit at Cox South is opened for 50% of its services right now. It will go through its final phase of opening next Monday.

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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