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Nurses working hour shifts, sweating and dehydrated wearing personal protection equipment, sometimes break down in tears. The full force of COVID, she adds, has finally arrived in Montana, with the vast physical distances between people and cities in the nation's fourth-largest state unable to stop its deadly march.
That includes 30 deaths in Cascade County, where more than half of its fatalities, 16, have come in the last 17 days. Janus removed her goggles in a conference room on the main floor revealing red raccoon-like marks under her eyes from the pressure of the eye protection. On Tuesday, 27 patients were fighting for their lives in its 20 rooms. It's so full several rooms are occupied by two patients. She decides which room is best for a patient and handles issues brought to her from other nurses. That could be a question about discharge plans or getting an IV started. She tries to lead by example.
Janus, 35, says she seen more death in the past three months than she has seen in her entire two-year nursing career. On that very day, a nurse who was caring for two patients in the process of dying was having a difficult time with the situation. More: Health Board limits event size to 50 people, cuts bar occupancy to 50 percent. The people who are going home. But in caring for COVID patients, they've had to shift their Chat with someone in Great Falls Montana ny, because they are using skills of hospice nurses such as keeping deteriorating patients comfortable, and talking to families and offering support.
It reached 27 patients 15 days later and has remained over capacity ever since. One is admitted and two days later here comes the spouse. One time, three family members were on the floor at the same time and two died. That for me and my team is the hardest thing. More people are going home than are dying. COVID, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, can cause lung complications such as pneumonia and, in the most severe cases, acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
When they arrive, they may be OK breathing room air or breathing oxygen through a basic nasal cannula, a lightweight tube with a split end that delivers supplemental air through the nostrils. In a matter of hours, Janus has watched patients escalate from needing oxygen through the basic nasal cannula to progressively more invasive and high-flow oxygen delivery forms such as Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure, or BiPAP. A BiPAP, one step before a ventilator, is a large machine that forces air into the lungs of patients via a mask to help them breathe.
Then the St. Charles, Minn. She finds helping people rewarding and stressful. She saves them all. Everyone is helping everyone out.
Each shift begins with a positive quote for the team. More: Overburdened and under-staffed: Benefis health care workers express concern. Nurses move around a lot from bed to bed giving medications. Dehydration is a problem. It can be a pain to take off masks and gowns, which is necessary to get a drink. Wear masks and stay 6 feet apart if you do and don't go if you are feeling sick.
But many of the people struggling on the COVID floor have preexisting conditions such as diabetes or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Patients stay until they have not had a fever for 24 hours and need less than three liters of oxygen a day.
Rest and exercise tests are performed to determine if they will need oxygen at home. Besides the battle to breathe and general fatigue, residents with COVID also face the challenge of social isolation, Janus said. Most patients are placed in a room by themselves to protect the staff and other patients, with the door closed, and no visitors are allowed.
He can be reached at kpuckett greatfallstribune. Help support local journalism by subscribing to the Tribune using the "Subscribe" link at the top of the. Facebook Twitter. Karl Puckett Great Falls Tribune.Chat with someone in Great Falls Montana ny
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