Rush Medical Center preps for overflow of patients


by: Dana Rebik

Posted: Mar 26, 2020 / 06: 56 PM CDT
/ Updated: Mar 26, 2020 / 06: 56 PM CDT

CHICAGO — Rush University Medical Center is preparing for a potential overflow of patients coming into the emergency room.

Dr. Dino Rumoro, chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine, said starting Friday, the Brennan Pavilion will be closed to the public, as its converted into a treatment area for non-COVID 19 patients.

Screens will be placed around the portable hospital beds mimicking a patient room with oxygen and other medical equipment.

The space will include 12 beds and 20 recliner chairs and will treat patients with minor trauma like those needing stitches or doctor evaluation for other non-flu like symptoms and pain.

More serious emergencies will still go to the ER, and the ambulance bay area has been converted with tents to screen suspected COVID-19 patients.

So far, doctors say between 10-15 coronavirus patients have been hospitalized, with dozens more tested and released — those now recovering at home.

Rumoro said they are cautiously optimistic right now and believe social distancing and the stay-at-home order may have been issued at just the right time — in the last four days doctors seeing a flattening of the curve. Rumoro said they are not seeing the number of new cases rising as sharply as they thought it could.

When asked if Chicago could see what’s happening right now in New York he said they have been cautionary optimistic that the city may be able to avoid that scenario.

Inside Rush, because non-essential surgeries are not happening right now, doctors say they can also use operating rooms for patient treatment.

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