SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV)- While hospitilization numbers seem to be trending down, St. Joseph’s/Candler hospitals are expanding their technology and staff in preparation for a surge.
“This screen right here is showing the remote monitoring of the patients,” said Harold Oglesby, pointing at a desktop sprawling with numbers.
Oglesby is the manager of pulmonary medicine at Candler Hospital. He says they have new technology that doesn’t even require him to be in the room to know his patient’s status
Remote monitoring like this is more important now than ever as hospitals intake more COVID-19 patients.
Currently there are more than 130 COVID-19 patients in hospitals across Chatham County.
“Sometimes the patients do really, really well and then you see them deteriorate for unknown reasons,” said Oglesby. “I think keeping on top of the patients and making sure that we get them well and out the door in the best way possible can be a challenge.”
Oglesby says this system can detect early warning signs of lung failure. This helps avoid putting patients on ventilators too soon, which he says can often lead to death.
“You know initially we were putting everybody on a ventilator and putting them on a ventilator early and then we figured out a lot of people on ventilators were dying,” he said, “so the point was then to keep patients off ventilators.”
He says since putting the practice into play they’ve seen better outcomes across the board. Of the 74 COVID-19 patients in both Candler and St. Joseph’s Hospitals only 11 are on ventilators.
Oglesby says should their be a surge in intakes their newly renovated COVID-19 unit could house 15 patients. He says each bed is equipped with all the neccesities for treatment.
St. Joseph’s hospital also has an identical overflow unit equipped with the same technology. The new additions are part of the hospitals 12 month surge plan.
“Our goal is to stay ahead of the eight ball and we think we’ve been doing an excellent job of that particularly when we can design something like this,” said Oglesby.