AdventHealth is seeking blood donors who have recovered from COVID within the past month because the antibodies in their blood can help others get better
On yesterday’s AdventHealth Morning Briefing, Daryl Tol, president and CEO of AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division, and Dr. Scott Brady, an internal medicine physician and president of AdventHealth Centra Care, discussed how readiness means everything when meeting the challenges of COVID-19 and how individuals can help put a stop to this global pandemic.
“This virus doesn’t care that we’re tired of it,” said Tol. “It’s growing because as we get out there, we’re not as careful as we should be. This is more of a marathon and takes some patience on our part. Hope doesn’t push it away.”
Highlights from the briefing
- AdventHealth facilities across Central Florida have surge plans in effect and have sufficient capacity to care for patients, including those with COVID-19. Their hospitals are designed to be flexible and expandable.
“We are not at full capacity at AdventHealth. We are managing the increase well, and testing more across the state. And the percentages are going up – we are seeing an increase in hospitalizations across the state,” explained Tol.
With an 84% capacity across seven counties and 16 campuses, they still have available almost 20% of their ICU beds for additional patients. And apparently this is normal for them. Tol continued, “Our health systems operate in this range of capacity on a regular basis. The growth of COVID is something we are paying close attention to, but the capacity level is still within a manageable range for us.”
- They have sufficient supplies of ventilators, monitors and other specialized equipment and can quickly convert spaces in the hospital to both standard and ICU level rooms. AdventHealth also has an extensive health care system in place in Central Florida so they can locate patients to the facility that best matches the level of care they need.
- The continued importance of wearing a mask and social distancing. Much of the surge in current positive COVID tests can be attributed to people letting down their guard and not observing COVID protocols and guidelines.
- What to do if you know you have been exposed someone who is COVID-positive. If you believe you have been exposed and show no symptoms, please self-isolate for five days and then proceed to an urgent care facility such as Centra Care, which has extended hours and offers the rapid test and the PCR test. The county health department also provides COVID testing.
“On day five,” Dr. Brady explained, “you’re going to have the best chance of getting a positive test if you get tested. You can get that done at any of our urgent care facilities. All of our Centra Care locations offer testing. A few weeks ago we were testing 3,500 a week. Now we’re testing 20,000 a week, and we’re making plans to double that.”
- Again: Do not go to an emergency room to get tested for COVID-19. If you are symptomatic, seek care sooner.
- The need for convalescent plasma donors. AdventHeallth has been one of the leaders in convalescent plasma treatments and is seeking blood donors who have recovered from COVID within the past month because the antibodies in their blood can help others get better.
- They are continuing to do elective procedures. At least today, but they are ready to “turn the dial” if they need to for space and staff.
Tol elaborated on that point, “As we expand space, and as we expand staffing, it’s more of a dial than a switch. We would typically curtail certain things to make certain space or staff available. You try to continue to do as much as you can because the backlog, even from April, is there. People need care, they need procedures.”