COVID trends encouraging for CHI Health St. Francis
Survival rate improving
HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - It has now been just over three months since CHI Health St. Francis of Grand Island admitted their first COVID-19 patient. That came on March 24.
Since that time, a total of 178 COVID-19 positive patients have been admitted to their hospital. Forty of them spent some time on ventilators.
The peak of admissions was seen in the second half of April when 63 patients were admitted in those two weeks.
While providing an update Wednesday, St. Francis vice-president of medical operations and chief medical officer Dr. Scott Frankforter says the numbers have trended down since then and there are just three COVID-19 patients there now.
"We've certainly seen a stark down-trend of the number of patients that we've had admitted to the hospital," said Frankforter. "And these patients are doing much, much better. At our peak time around April 21, we had 43 COVID patients in the hospital on one day."
It was during those peak times that the St. Francis staff were experiencing an entirely new situation.
“What we saw was intense care,” said Ed Hannon, the president of CHI Health St. Francis. “The amount of work at the bedside was greater than I’ve ever experienced in my entire career in healthcare. The number of people that it takes at every bed all the time. It was - some have described it ‘this is like a war zone’. It was just so many people at the same time all needing a lot of care.”
While other areas of the nation are seeing a surge of COVID-19 cases, officials at CHI Health St. Francis hope they've seen the worst of it for this area. Just the same, Dr. Frankforter says they are preparing - just in case.
“But we still need to be diligent,” said Frankforter. “Every physician that I know of, while - yes - while we’re aching to get to ballgames and picnics and stuff, we understand that this is going to be here for a while and we have to kind of keep doing what we’re doing.”
Health officials say it is particularly important that people continue to take preventative measures, such as wearing facemasks and washing their hands to keep out of their hospital.
St. Francis officials also said that of seven patients admitted during the month of March, there was a survival rate of 57 percent. That rate has improved each month since. For the first half of April, it was at 77 percent of the 52 patients admitted. For the second half of that month, there were 63 patients admitted with a survival rate of 94 percent. The survival rate was 95 percent in May and 100 percent for those admitted in June.
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