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DHMC repurposes unit for COVID-19 intensive care

Staff and wire reports
Published: 5/1/2020 5:53:54 PM
Modified: 5/1/2020 5:53:44 PM

LEBANON — Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center’s new neurocritical care unit on the third floor of the hospital’s inpatient tower has been transformed into a COVID-19 intensive care unit during the pandemic.

The unit sees a daily average of 10 to 30 patients with COVID-19 or who are suspected of having COVID-19, according to a message from D-H CEO Joanne Conroy published online Friday. Patients who don’t require intensive care are moved to the second floor of the tower.

“We are fortunate that only one D-HH patient has died, given that the mortality rate for intubated patients is quite high,” Conroy wrote.

According to D-H’s assessment of the situation, peak patient load is not expected until summer or fall.

DHMC expects to peak at 76 patients in the hospital, with 34 in the ICU and 22 on ventilators.

“In none of the projections, do we exceed capacity from a bed, (personal protective equipment) or staff resources with the current surge plans,” Conroy said.

Given that, D-H is continuing to reopen services for patients seeking care other than for COVID-19, she said.

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