SVMC increases negative pressure rooms to accommodate COVID patients

Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 6:16 PM EST
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BENNINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - There is an increase in COVID cases in Bennington County, but Southwestern Vermont Medical Center tells us they can handle it.

In the last two weeks, 309 people in Bennington County tested positive for COVID-19. Only Chittenden County had more at 471.

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center says when the pandemic began, they had only four negative pressure rooms. Those rooms are best for COVID-positive patients to recover in. Now, 41 of their 99 beds are in negative pressure rooms.

There are currently 18 hospitalized at SVMC, some are in intensive care.

The hospital says if two patients are COVID positive, they can be in the same negative pressure room.

Pamela Duchene is the chief nursing officer and vice president for patient care at SVMC. She says despite the recent surge, things seem to be turning around.

“All of our patients at this point in time are improving in status and we are hoping to, well we discharged a couple today, so our numbers are actually dropping. And we are seeing fewer COVID-positive patients come in through the emergency department which I believe is the sign that overall our numbers are drifting down,” Duchene said.

Duchene says the hospital is using the drug Remdesivir to assist some recovering COVID patients.

The hospital is also giving monoclonal antibody infusions to those who test positive but are not critically ill. She says a few people have had the procedure. And it is one way to prevent a hospitalization or further decline for the patient.

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