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"Unprecedented": RiverBend Doctor Describes COVID's Takeover Of ICU

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Tiffany Eckert
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Over the last few weeks, the volume of COVID-19 patients at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield has increased so quickly, medical staff have had to reconfigure physical spaces to treat them.

The Intensive Care Unit is set up in four pods—with twelve beds in each. Dr. Karthick Mahadevan is medical director of the ICU.

“In the past, we had one out of the four pods dedicated to taking care of COVID patients. So it was at 25% occupancy of the ICU. Now, almost 80% of our ICU is COVID patients. Oh, this is totally unprecedented for us.”

The region’s largest hospital has added 24 ICU beds in the Post Anesthesia Unit. The doctor said this shuffle was able to happen because they’ve cancelled all elective surgeries.  

On Friday, there were 138 COVID patients being treated at RiverBend --with 47 in the ICU and 26 of them are on ventilators.  Lane County's coronavirus death toll stands at 192.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.
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