More people entering UVA Medical Center with serious non-COVID-19 medical problems

More people entering UVA Medical Center with serious non-COVID-19 medical problems
University of Virginia Medical Center (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - An increasing number of people with serious non-coronavirus medical issues are entering the UVA Medical Center, but the hospital is equipped to handle it.

“We don’t really know for certain why there’s been an increasing number of people coming in who have those more serious non-COVID medical issues,” UVA Health Public Information Officer Eric Swensen said.

Swensen says there are a variety a reasons for the sudden rise in patients: One of the reasons why more people are now coming in for help is likely due to UVA Health postponing elective procedures and outpatient clinic visits in mid-March, but began ramping up in-patient and out-patient care on May 8.

“Other people who may have had to have serious or chronic medical issues have now decided to come to us and seek care,” Swensen said.

With coronavirus cases increasing in the area, Swensen says the increase in capacity does not hinder the amount of room they have to treat COVID-19 patients if necessary.

“We have opened a new bed tower right basically as the pandemic started, so we have additional capacity to tap into if we need it,” Swensen said. “We feel like we’re in a good position.”

The new tower to help with COVID-19 patients has 84 beds in it, and UVA Health says all of them can turn into an intensive care unit bed if a patient is in need of one.

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