Behind the frontlines: A glimpse inside University Hospital’s COVID unit

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Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 10:13 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -Doctors and nurses are working around the clock fighting to keep covid-19 patients alive as cases climb in the Badger State.

University Hospital staff said this week will be critical because they may see an increase in patients from those who gathered on Thanksgiving.

“Our unit has been in a perpetual state of full. As soon as a patient can discharge, we already have a patient waiting to come into the room,” Sam Jutila, University Hospital registered nurse said.

Medical staff crowd the halls of University Hospital in Madison. There’s no such thing as a slow day in the covid unit.

“We’re having more and more of our beds converted to covid beds because of the increase in demand,” Jutila said.

Medical staff covered in PPE from head to toe are fighting to save sick patients.

“The PAPRs are excellent, makes me feel very comfortable caring for my patients, but it’s just an extra layer when you do it throughout the day is very time consuming so it’s just eats into your time,” Jutila said.

Healthcare workers say during a COVID battle time is of the essence.

“The thing that is really tricky with that is that people go down really fast, people get very bad very fast as opposed to other diseases that we’ve taken care of over the years,” Dr. Scott Wilson, physician said.

As covid beds increase so does the stress level. Healthcare workers say treating a covid patient is challenging because of unknowns about the virus.

“Just having a lot of sick, sick patients and a lot of the things that we used to do to get them better just aren’t getting a lot of these patients better,” Elizabeth Denny, respiratory therapist said.

Healthcare workers are the last line of defense and they’re calling the public to the frontlines to stop the spread of the virus.

“I am tired of this. There’s some days I’m fed up about wearing a mask when I got out in public. I’m fed up with not having social gatherings, but it’s what we have to do right now. We literally do it for our health,” Jutila said.

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