Salt Lake City, UT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 10/23/2020 --In response to growing COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, a new public service campaign has been launched that goes behind the closed doors of Intermountain Healthcare's intensive care units (ICUs) to help people better understand the human toll and impact that rising cases and hospitalizations are having on exhausted caregivers and patients.
The emotional public service campaign features a three-minute video of actual frontline ICU caregivers sharing their personal experiences of caring for COVID-19 patients since last March. These are not actors, but doctors and nurses from Intermountain Healthcare hospitals.
The PSA spot, posted on YouTube in English and Spanish, is part of a broader social media campaign to help the community see that COVID-19 is not a faceless disease.
In the video, Dani Beebe, RN, an intensive care nurse at Intermountain Medical Center said: "The toughest thing about taking care of COVID patients is truly how sick some of them get and how long it takes for them to recover."
"Some days are really good and some days you go to work, and you really hope that someone doesn't pass away on your shift. Some days you go home, and you really just hope that your patient is still there the next day," she added.
During a virtual news conference, Intermountain doctors, nurses, and other frontline caregivers, discussed what it's like working in the ICU during the COVID-19 pandemic, and why they need help from the community to reduce the surging number of coronavirus patients being hospitalized in Utah to reduce pressure on limited health resources.
"We will do whatever it takes to care for patients. We can make room for anyone needing care, but what we don't have are more ICU nurses, acute care nurses, and physicians waiting on the shelf in our community," said Mark Ott, MD, medical director at Intermountain Medical Center. "There is a limit to the human talent that we have, and if we exceed that limit, then we move from contingency into crisis. We should never get into crisis."
The caregivers appealed to the community to mask up, social distance, stay home when sick, and practice good hand hygiene.
"We have seen over and over again in different communities, as mask usage goes up, COVID transmission goes down," said Dr. Patrick Carroll, medical director of Intermountain Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George, Utah, which has opened a Surge ICU to care for the rising number of ICU patients in Southern Utah . "We are your hospital. We are ready to take care of you, and safely take care of you. We will only turn this [COVID] trend if we work together as a community."
Lindsay Leither, DO, medical director of Intermountain Medical Center's Respiratory Intensive Care Unit, agrees.
"This is impacting everyone and we're all at risk for getting the disease. It's real. It's really serious and people are getting very, very sick from this disease," she said. "Everything we can do as a community to slow the spread and stop the spread of this disease is critically important."
"It's like a war, with members of the community sitting well behind the lines," Dr. Ott added. "For many people, they can't hear the bombs going off, and it may seem like there aren't bombs going off. But for the people on the front lines, it's real. They're seeing people die."
"We don't have to catch infections that are preventable," he said. "And this is entirely preventable."
Click here for a link to the video.
About Intermountain Healthcare
Intermountain Healthcare is a not-for-profit system of 24 hospitals, 215 clinics, a Medical Group with 2,500 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Idaho, Utah, and Nevada. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes and sustainable costs. For more information, see intermountainhealthcare.org.