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Freeman Health System recently added a new COVID unit


JOPLIN, Mo. (KSNF) – Freeman Health System has made adjustments for some of its COVID-19 patients.

The hospital has opened a third COVID-19 unit on the sixth floor of the hospital. It will act as a transitional unit from the ICU.

Currently, there are 46 with COVID-19 hospitalized, seven of which are on ventilators.

“This is in response to the increase in the volume of in-patient COVID patients that we’ve been seeing over the past month in a half that are really starting to surge up,” said Dr. Robert McNab, Freeman Health System director of COVID-19 services.

Known as the “step-down unit,” patients still require more needs like high oxygen levels.

“This unit sits in the middle position. So, it’s patients that are still very severely sick, but they’re not at that ICU ventilator level,” said Dr. McNab.

This new unit consists of 11 beds. That’s 20% of the bed space Freeman has to offer.

While nine of them are in use, the new space will free up room for patients that are in critical care.

“I need to conserve more space for those really critically ill patients that do need that level of ventilator care, so this allows me to free up a little bit of that resource,” Dr. McNab said.

While Freeman can adjust to the needs of their patients, Dr. McNab adds the real help is getting vaccinated.

“If this is something that I would recommend for my own health or for my own loved ones, I would absolutely recommend it for everybody’s loved ones,” said Dr. McNab.

With half of Freeman’s current COVID patients are under the age of 60, Dr. McNab adds the younger population is at the highest risk of getting COVID.

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