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Treating COVID-19 patients is a challenge

'We have learned a lot over the past year; from our colleagues and from treating patients here'
20200430 North Bay Regional Health Centre
North Bay Regional Health Centre. File photo.

Physicians at the North Bay Regional Health Centre were scheduled to receive two new transfer COVID-19 patients, on ventilators from southern Ontario, bringing the total number with breathing assistance to five; the most they have had since the start of the pandemic.   

Dr. Jennifer Mihill, Head of Anaesthesia and NBRHC COVID-19 Critical Care Preparedness Lead says they are still learning and adapting to new and different treatments to combat COVID-19.  

"It is a very interesting process to go through, because you are right, we have learned a lot over the past year; from our colleagues and from treating patients here," Dr. Mihill said during a media conference last week.  

"COVID-19 is a very complex disease which is unlike any virus that we have seen in my career. But it is very multi-faceted and it affects a lot of systems, not just the lungs."  

See related:Hospital staff fighting through fear that more COVID-19 patients bring

Mihill admits they have learned a lot about ventilation strategies which have changed over the course of the pandemic.  

"We communicate a lot with our colleagues down south and internationally," she said.  

"Our respiratory therapists are always contacting other respiratory therapists and it really is a global community when we look at how we treat COVID-19 and it has evolved. 

"I have learned a lot of different strategies. We have started putting patients on their stomach, which we call proning, which we never did here in North Bay so we have evolved some of our treatments here and we elevated some of our training - the strategies that we use here," she added. 

Mihill admits some ways it has been a hard time for them but, on a positive note, she believes they have improved some of the treatments here and that will be a benefit to other future COVID-19 patients.