How Atlanta’s Emory University is preparing for Georgia’s patient surge

Georgia News

ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Hospitals around Georgia are getting ready for a patient surge with a peak expected on April 23rd.

Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital, which treated patients for ebola in 2014, gives us a behind-the-scenes look at what’s happening inside when a patient comes in with the coronavirus.

Atlanta Bureau Chief, Archith Seshadri, gives you a sneak peak of the process.

Inside Atlanta Emory’s University Hospital, things are different as COVID-19 patients trickle in.

“You would see the hallways are very empty. We have restricted visitors. The main people that are here have to be badged”

“In terms of what we are seeing in the hospital, half are going to ICU and we are seeing a lot of pneumonia.”

Infectious disease expert Dr. Colleen Kraft says she has been worried about a pandemic for years.

“This has not come without fear and anxiety for healthcare workers.”

“If you go around talking to these individuals, they are optimistic, they feel safe.”

Kraft, who serves on the state’s coronavirus task force, says Emory has bought 50 ventilators but are still short of personal protective equipment.

“Emory Healthcare is in critical need of disposable gowns and critical need of masks”

“We reuse personal protective equipment, sterile processing . We are working on ultra violet disinfection of our N95 respirators for the floors.”

“We have a partnership with GA Tech who are printing face shields, you would wear a mask and have a shield, but also protective of your face.”

Emory can now do it’s own coronavirus testing with results back in 24 hours.

“Several models predict GA could hit its peak number of coronavirus cases within the next few weeks. That’s why state leaders want you to stay at home, practice social distancing and help flatten that curve because otherwise the state’s hospitals would be inundated and wouldn’t be able to influx the of patients.”

Emory is participating in a clinical trial to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, one that tests cells in the body to make a viral protein.

Emory has also launched an online tracker to check for symptoms of the coronavirus — that website is c19check.com

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