Missouri hospitals put out ‘call to arms’ for respiratory therapists as COVID-19 cases climb

Tracking Coronavirus

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The CEO of a Springfield hospital sent out an S.O.S. for respiratory therapists as the number of COVID-19 cases surges.

Steve Edwards tweeted Tuesday morning and said that his hospital has plenty of ventilators and personal protective equipment, but is in desperate need of respiratory therapists.

Edwards is the CEO of CoxHealth in Springfield. On Monday, the hospital said it had 95 people hospitalized with COVID-19. While it has the supplies needed, the hospital also said that staffing is the biggest issue it faces as the number of patients climbs. During the last surge in Springfield, the hospital had 280 traveling staff that could help. That staff is no longer available to the hospital.

At Mercy Hospital in Springfield, more than 120 people are hospitalized because of COVID-19. Nearly 25 of those patients are on ventilators. The hospital’s chief administrative officer tweeted the situation is so dire that the hospital is expanding and opening a second COVID-19 ICU.

Mercy Hospital is also asking for help from anyone who is a respiratory therapist and is available to travel to Springfield to help with demand.

Both hospitals also ask anyone who is not already fully vaccinated to get a vaccination. They hope that will help keep down the number of people hospitalized.

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