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

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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.

Call to arms Respiratory Therapists!

Springfield, Mo is struggling with surging Covid volumes. Cox has plenty of ventilators, PPE, but our heroic RT staff need re-enforcements. If you are an RT and can come to our aid please call or text 417-269-5627 We would be so grateful. pic.twitter.com/cAloIll2o3

— Steve Edwards (@SDECoxHealth) July 6, 2021

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.

COVID-19 update: We have 95 hospitalized with COVID. Supplies/space are good, but staffing is still a factor, especially since patient numbers are up across the system. 280 traveling staff were here during last surge who are not here now. pic.twitter.com/1s95C7SzsE

— CoxHealth (@CoxHealth) July 6, 2021

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.

122 COVID+ @MercySGF. 28 ICU with 24 on vents. Please get vaccinated. https://t.co/LdTTEdow4z.

— Erik Frederick (@CAOMercySGF) July 6, 2021

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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