Medical staff take on new roles to help doctors on the front lines of COVID-19 outbreak

Coronavirus

DENVER (KDVR) — A majority of elective and non-emergency procedures are on hold to limit the number of people coming into hospitals. That means specialty doctors such as surgeons are looking for new ways to stay busy while helping with the current COVID-19 outbreak.

Dr. Stephen Cobb, the chief medical officer for Centura Health’s Denver Metro group says they’ve finding creative ways to use doctors who aren’t as busy as those who are treating COVID-19 patients.

“The main thing we’ve done is take our anesthesiologists and re-deploy them in areas where we have dedicated intubation teams. The aim of doing that is to reduce the exposure of our medical staff to this virus and to minimize the use of personal protective equipment,” said Cobb.

Cobb says they have not experienced a shortage of physicians yet, but expect a surge in patients in the near future.

In addition to anesthesiologists, Cobb says they’re considering using urgent care doctors in the emergency room and possibly moving cardiologists to help in the intensive care unit.

“They know how to take care of critically ill patients and they can help our intensive care doctors and our critical care doctors perform those tasks,” said Cobb.

He says they’re focused on matching physicians where their skill set will work best in order to provide a high level of care.

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