Bronx hospital system implements new advancements in treatment of COVID-19 patients
While there is a push now for people to get the COVID-19 vaccine, there have also been advances in how to help those who contract the disease.
Like all hospitals during the height of COVID-19, the intensive care unit at St. Barnabas Hospital Health System in the Bronx was slammed.
"We didn't have a lot early on in terms of what we could do for this virus. I mean, a lot of it was supportive care and our standard, put people on ventilators," Chief of Intensive Care Unit Dr. Christopher Grantham recalls.
But work continued on how to best treat and save lives. Soon, the hospital had more treatment options both in terms of medications and oxygen delivery to keep people off ventilators.
"We are using C-pap and bipap masks. These are masks that fit kind of snuggly over the face and they'll give a positive pressure, as well as a higher level of oxygen," Grantham explains. "There is one other modality we've used a few times and that's a helmet ventilation, where it's kind of a plastic hood that goes over the patient that'll also have a positive pressure in it."
Techniques at St. Barnabas have also changed.
"We're doing proning with patients, which is basically turning the patient face down, chest down, to improve oxygenation, really. You're allowing the blood to flow to areas that were open in your lung and letting the collapsed portions that were maybe not open enough to kind of now expand," Grantham says.
"We are making some inroads. We are getting more people out than before, but there's still a percentage of people who don't do well with this disease," Grantham says, so he is urging everyone to get vaccinated as soon as they are able.