Hospital stays shortening for COVID-19 patients

Hospital stays shortening for COVID-19 patients

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Five months into the COVID-19 pandemic and doctors say they now have a much better handle on what we’re dealing with.

What used to be long hospital stays and people sick for weeks at a time is now changing.

Consumer Investigator Lindsay Bramson talked with a Vanderbilt doctor who describes a much different scene in the hospital these days.

Doctors say what they’re seeing now compared to what they were seeing back in March gives a lot of hope we’re certainly headed in the right direction.

“What use to be a week or 10 days is now 1/2 week or short of a week for a hospital stay,” said Dr. Todd Rice who works in the ICU at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

And while every case is different, Dr. Rice says in general, patients are recovering from COVID-19 faster than they used to.

“Some of the younger people still get really sick but most of the time the younger people don’t get as sick,” said Dr. Rice.

He’s talking about those patients who are between the ages of 20 and 40.

Dr. Rice also says in the last 4 to 5 months, they’ve figured out better ways to treat patients.

“We’ve done some studies and have figured out a couple treatments we know are effective like remdesivir and dexamethasone and we’re using those,” said Dr. rice.

And oxygen masks that at first caused fear of spreading the virus are now actually helping keep more people off ventilators.

“Those are effective ways of delivering higher levels of oxygen that we can provide patients before putting them on a ventilator,” said Dr. Rice.

Some things, however, are still the same, he says, like those who suffer worse than others.

If you’re diabetic or somebody with high blood pressure, heart disease or chronic lung problems, you still want to be extra cautious where you go and who you’re around.

But do know, doctors are learning more each day and what it takes to save people during a time with so many unknowns.

“Those are key high points for us because they give us that energy and attitude to keep doing this and pouring our heart and soul into it,” said Dr. Rice.

The numbers for those testing positive for Covid in Davidson County have been slightly down this week and Dr. Rice says he hops that isa trend that continues.