Inside Barnes Jewish Hospital’s ICU

Coronavirus
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ST. LOUIS – Barnes Jewish Hospital clinical nurse manager Gil Gonzales is dealing with COVID-19 cases all day and night.

Gonzales and his nurses saw the peak of their cases last week. He says there is no rhyme or reason to who gets coronavirus. He’s seen all ages.

Families aren’t allowed to be with their loved ones in ICU, so nurses set up Facetime calls to allow scared patients to see and hear from family.

Gonzales says they’ve also seen patients sick with COVID-19 symptoms but testing negative. It isn’t until they test fluid from their lungs that they get the positive test results.

Why? Because some patients don’t carry the virus in their nasal cavity.

Most of the nurses are going home to their families even though Barnes Jewish has offered safe housing for those who need to quarantine.

Gonzales has an elderly mother he cares for and must return home after each shift. He says all of them leave the shoes outside, undress from their scrubs in a trash bag, and then hop right into the shower. They still social distance with family even in the same home.

Gonzales says they haven’t needed the extra beds and COVID ICU areas that they prepared for. The good news is social distancing is working. He and others say they’ve seen it firsthand.

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