Cox South’s ICU ward is a ‘war zone,’ CoxHealth’s CEO says

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — CoxHealth’s president and CEO compares Cox South’s ICU ward to a “war zone.”

CEO Steve Edwards says there are 30 to 35 patients in their ICU unit, making it crowded and he called it a war zone to make a point.

“I’ve heard people state that patients aren’t that sick, and there’s no one in that unit, and I wanted to illustrate that there are,” said Edwards. “It’s busy. It’s a very worrisome place to be because ventilated, patients really have a hard time and we worry about them.”

Twenty-two of the health system’s COVID-19 patients are from Greene County and 60% to 75% are from outside the area.

Edwards says his team has PPE and space, but he worries Cox might not have enough nurses to treat every patient if numbers continue to grow.

Another concern is this fall when Edwards says the hospital normally sees 30 extra patients.

Doctor Robin Trotman says people need to follow COVID-19 safety measures and get a flu shot.

“We don’t know what testing capacity we’re going to have for influenza,” said Trotman. “We don’t know how well Tamaflu, and some of the antivirals are going to work. The flu virus is notorious for evolving every year. We don’t know how bad the flu season is going to be so we want people to get vaccinated now.”

Doctor Trotman says research shows that people need to be more cautious right now. He says we need to protect young people to protect those older than them.

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