UAMS takes steps to manage COVID hospitalizations

UAMS takes steps to manage COVID hospitalizations

As thousands more Arkansans test positive for COVID-19 each day and the number of available intensive care unit beds in the state’s hospitals dwindles, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is beginning the next phase of its surge plan.

In an email sent Wednesday morning to employees and students, UAMS leaders laid out dramatic new measures to manage the crisis, including a plan for ICU nurses at UAMS Medical Center to take on more patients than they would under normal circumstances.

Because critical care patients require constant monitoring and attention, ICU nurses typically care for only one or two patients each. In the coming weeks, UAMS will likely increase the ratio of patients per nurse by rolling out a “team-based care model.” The hospital plans to bring non-ICU nurses into the unit to serve as support for regular ICU nurses, allowing the ICU nurses to take on three or even four patients each if needed.

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