The University of Mississippi Medical Center has opened a mobile field hospital to help Mississippians with non-emergency respiratory illness. MPB’s Kobee Vance reports.
The respiratory field hospital will see patients with fever and respiratory symptoms who need medical attention but are not sick enough to go to an emergency room. Dr. Lou Ann Woodward, Vice-Chancellor of Health Affairs, says during this coronavirus pandemic, many clinics and physicians’ offices are closed. This allows patients to receive medical attention without overwhelming emergency rooms.
“So that in fact, they don’t enter into the emergency department if they don’t need to. Again, some patients need to go to the emergency department, but if they don’t need to then that decreases the likelihood that they might be in the emergency department and expose other patients.”
If emergency medical care is necessary, the field hospital is located adjacent to the hospital’s emergency room and can transfer patients quickly.
Dr. Alan Jones is Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine. He says patients will be screened and referred to the clinic by a UMMC healthcare provider.
“And then if that screen seems to be positive, then they’ll be asked to come here. They’ll park their car on a ramp behind us. They’ll have some necessary testing done in their car, they’ll be called, and they’ll be brought in here to be actually evaluated, have some vital signs done and those types of things.”
Currently, the mobile field hospital will only see patients referred by UMMC physicians, but they hope to expand referrals to other providers later this week.
The facility can hold up to 24 adult and pediatric patients, and doctors will be testing for strep, flu and COVID-19.