NDMS team to help with surge of COVID-19 patients at St. Claire

A team of 15 from the National Disaster Medical System will help manage the surge in COVID...
A team of 15 from the National Disaster Medical System will help manage the surge in COVID patients at St. Claire.(Source: WKYT)
Published: Sep. 5, 2021 at 7:31 PM CDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Across the state, hospitals brace for impact as experts fear a surge in COVID cases following the Labor Day weekend.

We saw cases rise after Memorial Day Weekend, then again after the Fourth of July.

Except this time, many hospitals are already on the edge of capacity.

Including one hospital in Morehead, which is now receiving help from the state in two different ways.

At the request of the state, the U.S Department of Health and Human Services deployed a team of 15 medical professionals from the National Disaster Medical System to St. Claire Regional Medical Center.

They’re joining the team of 15 National Guardsman deployed to the hospital a few days prior.

“This is a very important mission for the Guard. It’s giving back to the citizens of Kentucky. The pandemic is real and the Guard is here to help,” said Major Michael Wayne

Wayne said the Guard will help in non-clinical ways.

“Restock supplies, move supplies from one floor to the other. Help establish new ICU wards.”

According to the hospital, the NDMS team includes one physician, advanced healthcare practitioners, nurses and other clinical specialists. They’re there to help manage the current surge in COVID patients. Right now, St. Claire is treating 72 COVID patients. 34 are inpatient and 38 are being treated through the hospital’s COVID Care at Home program.

From July 1 to September 3, more than 80% of COVID patients admitted to the hospital, were unvaccinated. Of the 15 COVID-related deaths reported during that time, one was fully vaccinated.

“Where your nurses and doctors need to be is with patient care, so anything we can do outside of that clinical setting in order to help them, that is a big deal.”

Wayne said the National Guard team will stay as long as they’re needed. For now, the NDMS team will help through the 17th.

The Governor’s Office also mobilized five 10-member FEMA EMS strike teams. They’ll help with transferring and transporting COVID patients.

The teams each have five advanced life support ambulances, staffed with one paramedic and one EMT.

They are in Corbin, Lexington, Louisville, Owensboro and Somerset, positioned centrally to be able to respond to any area in the state.

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