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Mercy Hospital opens mobile care unit near emergency room

Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 8:27 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Mercy Hospital has opened up a new mobile unit right outside of its emergency room to care for patients with symptoms of the flu, or COVID-19.

The mobile unit opened up for patients Tuesday, and the hospital tells KY3 it will not only help with capacity, but also keeping possible COVID-19 patients from infecting patients and staff inside the hospital.

“It’s no different level of care, it’s just adding additional capacity for us right now,” said Vicki Good, director of the emergency department at Mercy Springfield.

KY3 was not allowed inside of Mercy Hospital’s new mobile unit,but the hospital did provide us with video, taking a look at what exactly can be done inside.

“The emergency room physicians and emergency room staff see those patients there, they’re able to initiate therapies with them like IV therapy and low flow oxygen in order to treat them with the goal of sending them home," Good said.

She said patients can also have x-rays done inside of the unit. Good also said some patients may still be cared for in the regular emergency room area due to the severity of their symptoms.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the hospital had 84 COVID-19 patients, and CoxHealth had 89.

”The big question on everybody’s mind right now is what is this winter going to look like with influenza season starting up on top of COIVD-19, so this is just one of those ways that we’re trying to be ready to serve the community if we should get a large influx of those patients," Good said.

Mercy’s new unit should be able to take care of 15 to 20 people. Over at Cox South, crews began building a 16 patient mobile unit that should open up in early November.

Good said the additional options will allow them to help patients more quickly, and should give patients some peace-of-mind.

”A lot of people are scared to come to the hospital to seek treatment for things like heart attacks and strokes that they need to be here for, but they’re scared because they don’t want to get COVID-19 so that’s going to provide them more security in being able to seek that treatment," she said.

Mercy will not keep the mobile units open 24 hours a day, but it will keep them open depending on the volume of patients.

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