Respiratory therapy team at Coney Island hospital reflects on yearlong pandemic
Before the pandemic, the respiratory therapists at New York City Health + Hospitals/Coney Island managed a case load of around 25 ventilators on a typical day.
As the pandemic raged, that number jumped to 140.
The director of the respiratory team says with many COVID-19 patients, their decline happened quickly.
"It happened so fast that we might apply a low level of oxygen, just a little nasal cannula you might see and they would look better and then all of a sudden an hour later the nurse is calling and the patient is blue," said Laura Gazzara.
The team also got hit with COVID-19. Registered respiratory therapist Ronnie Hemmings became a patient there, hit with pneumonia in both of her lungs.
The team celebrated victories. Music played when a patient was taken off a ventilator.