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COVID-19 hit West Tennessee communities hard with hospitals and staff members being pushed to their limits. Even so, Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union City and Baptist Memorial Hospital-Carroll County leaders worked together to support staff and provide top-quality care for patients during this difficult time.
Since March 2020, Baptist Union City diagnosed 1,246 COVID-19 patients and provided inpatient care for 445 of them. Similarly, Baptist Carroll County diagnosed 1,259 COVID-19 patients during this time, admitting 454 for inpatient care. Ninety to 95% of admitted patients were unvaccinated.
“We are disheartened to lose patients to COVID-19 when there is a vaccine to help prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death,” said Skipper Bondurant, administrator and CEO of Baptist Union City. “These deaths take a real toll on our compassionate, hardworking staff. But the prayers and food coming from the community has really helped boost our staff when they need it most.”
Hospital employees have worked tirelessly caring for patients in their communities while bearing the mental, emotional and physical tolls it has taken on them personally. COVID-19 patients affected by the delta variant have been younger and sicker, and that has been hard to witness for hospital staff.
“It’s really difficult for our staff to watch patients close to their age get sick so quickly and be put on a ventilator and possibly pass away,” said Susan Breeden, administrator and CEO of Baptist Carroll County. “This surge has been harder because there is a vaccine available to prevent severe infections. We just cannot stress the importance of getting vaccinated enough — it will not only help keep you and your family healthy, but it will also help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”
After accumulating the most emergency department visits in the history of the hospital in August 2021, Baptist Carroll County has encouraged vaccinations and monoclonal antibody treatments to help keep COVID-19 patients out of the hospital. As of October, 1,300 COVID-19-positive patients were treated with monoclonal antibodies at the hospital, and 1,100 of those treatments happening in July 2021. The hospital serves eight counties and offers appointments Monday through Friday to accommodate patients.
“After being vaccinated, I came down with a breakthrough case of COVID-19,” said Jaleesa Mason, who received monoclonal antibody injections at Baptist Carroll County. “Thankfully because of the vaccine, I did not need to be hospitalized, but I just couldn’t shake the virus. Once I had the monoclonal antibody injections at Baptist, I immediately began to feel better, and it turned everything around for me. The hospital staff was so helpful — I could not have asked for better care.”
Baptist Union City and Baptist Carroll County strongly encourage community members to get vaccinated and help spread the word that getting the vaccine is the best way to support hospitals and staff at this time.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccines, call 866-941-4785 or monoclonal antibody treatments, call 731-986-7210.