NEW ORLEANS — A big chunk of the battle against the coronavirus was fought at University Medical Center, including some of the biggest success stories.
One of the workers there, Kimberly Hite, supervised a Covid-19 team that cared for dozens of patients at the same time. For her work on the frontline, Hite is a Health Care Hero of the Day, sponsored by Schonberg Care.
Hite says the 32 bed unit went from one patient to full in a matter of days, and they knew they were in for a battle when they saw how quickly the disease affected the very first patient.
“It made our heads spin. The guy was okay one minute and then literally in the blink of an eye, he was crashing,” Hite said.
Hite said it was especially difficult for the patients because no family members were allowed inside the ICU. A patient who arrived for treatment in a family member’s car might be wheeled away and never seen by family members again in the worst cases.
But patients did recover, and UMC had one of the highest survival rates in the country for ventilated patients in cities with large numbers of infected people.
“Every time somebody was discharged home, that was positive,” Hite said. “We felt better. We felt that there was hope.”
We asked her what needs to happen for her to know that the pandemic is over. You can watch her answer in our story at the top of this page.