Inside UMass Memorial Center during COVID-19




Inside UMass Memorial Center during COVID-19 and its struggle to supply proper PPE to staff members

Health care workers and hospital staff rose to the occasion in March of 2020 and they continue to go above and beyond a year into the pandemic. First responders share their personal and professional sacrifices.



I DID NOT THINK IT WAS GOING TO GET THAT BAD. THIS IS THE WORST THING I HAVE SEEN IN MY CAREER. >> EVERYBODY DROVE TO WORK WITH BUTTERFLIES IN THEIR STOMACH. >> THERE WAS A FEELING THAT THIS IS WHAT WE WERE CALLED TO DO. >> DAYS AFTER THEY SET UP THEIR COMMAND CENTER O 3/12/2020 — MARCH 12, 2020 THEY HAD THEIR FIRST CONFIRMED CASE OF COVID-19. WHAT FOLLOWED WERE ACTS OF BRAVERY. INCREDIBLE DISPLAYS OF HUMAN KINDNESS. >> THIS CHRONICLE ON CHANNEL 5. >> WELCOME TO OUR COMMAND CENTER, 8:00 A.M. BRIEFING. >> INSIDE THE MEDICAL CENTER, A DAILY MEETING, NOW 365 DAYS DEEP. >> IT IS GREATER THAN 50% DOWN FROM THE PEAK. >> POSITIVE NEWS THAT THE CHIEF OF NURSING SIZE IS A STARK CONTRAST TO HOW THE COMMAND CENTER OPENED UNDER A CLOUD OF UNCERTAINTY. >> THERE WAS UNEASINESS. THEY HAVE THE RIGHT PROTECTION? DID THEY DO THE RIGHT THING? HOW MANY OF THESE PATIENTS ARE WE GOING TO SEE? IS THIS THE FIRST OF MANY OR THE FIRST OF A FEW? >> THEY HAVE TREATED MORE THAN 20,000 CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS, BUT THE TRUE NUMBER COULD BE MUCH HIGHER. THE STAFF WILL NEVER KNOW JUST HOW MANY PEOPLE CAME THROUGH THESE DOORS, INFECTED WITH THE VIRUS. >> TESTING JUST WAS NOT AVAILABLE YET. >> THE HOSPITAL EPIDEMIOLOGIST PLAYING A PIVOTAL ROLE, ADVISING THE COMMUNITY DURING THE PANDEMIC. HE BEGAN HIS CAREER DECADES AGO IN THE HEIGHT OF THE HIV PANDEMIC. HE FACED A NEW QUESTION, HOW TO KEEP A STAFF SAFE WITHOUT SUFFICIENT PROTECTION. >> WE NEVER ENCOUNTERED THIS, EVEN DEALING WITH LACK OF SUPPLIES. USUALLY IT IS LOCAL. IF A CITY HAS A PROBLEM, THERE IS SUPPLIES AND OTHER CITIES. THIS WAS A NATIONAL PROBLEM. THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH STOCKPILE. >> THE HOSPITAL WAS USING SUPPLIES AT 10 TIMES THE NORMAL RATE AND THEY WERE DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO BEING DEPLETED O MASKS, BARELY ABLE TO HELP THEMSELVES OR NEAR COMMUNITIES. >> I HAD A CALL FROM OUR DIRECTOR SUPPLY CHAIN WHO SAID, THEY WANT OUR BODY BAGS. WE SAID, WE NEED THE BODY BAGS. TO ME, THAT WAS PROBABLY, EMOTIONALLY, THE HARDEST DAY. >> THE COMMUNITY DONATING MILLIONS OF PIECES OF PPE. >> THEY WERE GETTING DONATIONS FROM THE COMMUNITY, SOME OF IT WAS VERY USABLE STUFF. >> NOTHING WENT TO WASTE. WORKERS PUTTING IN 80 HOUR WEEKS. THE HOSPITAL CEO WORKED ALONGSIDE HIS MEDICAL COLLEAGUES. >> IF I STOPPED SEEING PATIENTS DURING THIS, I DO NOT THINK I COULD HAVE LIVED WITH MYSELF OR LOOKED INTO THE EYES OF MY FELLOW CAREGIVERS. IT IS THE MOST DANGEROUS SITUATION WE HAVE EVER PUT THEM IN. >> MORE THAN 14 HUNDRED EMPLOYEES BECAME INFECTED WITH COVID-19. ABOUT 10% OF THE TOTAL STAFF. NURSES IN THE CRITICAL CARE UNIT NOT ONLY TREATING THE COMMUNITY BUT ALSO COLLEAGUES. AMONG THE FIRST TO GET SICK WERE DOCTORS. >> THERE WAS SO MUCH UNKNOWN ABOUT THE INFECTION, HOW IT WOULD PROGRESS OVER TIME. >> SOMEONE HAD TALKED TO ME IN FEBRUARY ABOUT HOW COVID PATIENTS WERE RESPONDING. THEY WERE SENT HOME AND CAME BACK ONE WEEK LATER. >> WHEN THE DOCTOR CAME DOWN WITH A FEVER AND HIS OXYGE LEVELS DROPPED, HE WENT TO THE ER. JUST IN TIME. >> I WAS GOING DOWN THE TUBES PRETTY RAPIDLY. THEY HAD TRIED EVERYTHING. >> HE WAS IN THE SAME POSITION THAT MANY OF THE FIRST PENDANT — VICTIMS OF THE PANDEMIC FOUND THEMSELVES. FEW RESOURCES TO HELP THEM SURVIV >> WHEN I LEARNED THAT HE WAS IN THE ICU, IT CREATED A SENSE OF URGENCY. >> THE OTHER DOCTOR WAS ON THE MEND AND WAS INTERESTED IN DONATING PLASMA. >> WHEN WE FIRST REACHED OUT TO AMERICAN RED CROSS, THEY THOUGHT WITHIN A MONTH OR SO. WE SAID WE DO NOT HAVE A MONTH. WE HAVE OURS. >> ONE OF THE FIRST IN THE STATE TO ROLL UP HIS SLEEVES TO DONATE PLASMA. THE OTHER DOCTOR WOULD BE THE FIRST — ONE OF THE FIRST TO RECEIVE PLASMA THERAPY. >> IT WAS LIKE A MIRACLE. >> A MIRACLE THAT WOULD GIVE DOCTORS AND NURSES A NEW TOOL TO TREAT PATIENTS IN NEED OF LIFESAVING TREATMENT. >> EARLY ON IT WAS ALL ABOUT INNOVATION. STUDENTS FIGURED OUT HOW TO MAKE IT WHEN THERE WERE PROBLEMS WITH THE SANITIZING PUMPS. THEY ENGINEERED A BATTERY PACK TO KEEP THEM RUNNING. THEY ARE MAKING PERMANENT CHANGES FROM LESSONS LEARNED, INCLUDING EXPANDING THE WARE AIRP



Inside UMass Memorial Center during COVID-19 and its struggle to supply proper PPE to staff members

Health care workers and hospital staff rose to the occasion in March of 2020 and they continue to go above and beyond a year into the pandemic. First responders share their personal and professional sacrifices.



UMass Memorial Medical Center is the largest healthcare system in central Massachusetts.UMass Memorial Medical Center – Find a Doctor in Worcester, MA

UMass Memorial Medical Center is the largest healthcare system in central Massachusetts.

UMass Memorial Medical Center – Find a Doctor in Worcester, MA



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