Updates from Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and Hospital Foundation
Although people are weary and are tired of hearing about COVID-19, concerns are rising as cases continue to build in western Nevada County. Questions are again surfacing on Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital’s (SNMH) ability to manage during a surge. Be assured while numbers are rising, SNMH is well prepared to manage care of both COVID-19 patients and those with other acute and critical care needs.
It is important for residents to understand that hospitals by their very nature are designed to manage infectious disease situations. Additionally as more and more information has come out about COVID-19, SNMH, local healthcare offices, and clinics have spent a great deal of time and effort to ensure the safest environment possible for those that need care.
Since early 2020, SNMH has braced for the worst by developing plans for a patient surge that fortunately has not met the level of initial projections. For months the peak of the curve was not what was expected.
For those who follow Nevada County’s COVID-19 page, it can be confusing when you look at the number of hospitalizations. Overall SNMH has had a couple of cases at a time with the maximum number of nine at one time to date. We have a good sized ICU occupancy that has been able to manage all COVID-19 and other critical care patients. Hospitalizations listed on the County’s site include not only SNMH, but also Tahoe Forest Hospital and Nevada County residents at other facilities.
One of the greatest concerns is as COVID-19 ignites throughout the country, people’s anxiety is getting the better of them when it comes to managing serious health issues. They are ignoring symptoms, afraid to step into emergency department’s or their doctor’s office. People are putting off procedures that are putting their life at risk. It is important you go to your physician’s office, a clinic, or the emergency department if you are experiencing severe health issues.
The science of COVID-19 continues to evolve. Today, healthcare workers have a much better understanding on how to treat acute cases. We have been caring for our community throughout the pandemic, and through the collective expertise and experience across our system, we better understand the disease now, how to treat it, and how to plan for a surge.
SNMH and SNMH Foundation have worked hard to keep our community informed. SNMH remains vigilant and prepared through its four-tiered surge plan. Medical surge involves the ability to prepare and provide adequate evaluation and care during events that exceed the limits of normal medical infrastructure in an impacted community.
The biggest challenge for hospitals around the country right now is staffing. Managing appropriate staffing is essential to ensure the care and safety of patients and healthcare workers and physicians. That is where our community comes in. While we hope to enter into the recovery phase with vaccines in upcoming months, it is imperative that people continue to follow guidelines of masking, social distancing and sanitizing until we get there.
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