From the Front Lines: Inside the COVID-19 ICU

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By News Team on October 25, 2021

Our frontline health care workers continue to see a high number of people admitted to our intensive care units because of severe complications related to the COVID-19 Delta variant. For the first time, hear from a Carilion Clinic COVID-19 ICU team about what it's like to work with COVID patients, and how they take care of their mental health during these trying times.

Please watch, share and encourage those in your life to protect themselves by visiting vaccines.gov to find a free, convenient vaccine site near them.

And if you need support during this ongoing challenging time, you don't have to go through it alone.Visit CarilionClinic.org/support for online, phone and local resources that can help.

Note: Our staff's safety and patient privacy were our top priorities during filming. All filming was done outside of patient rooms, no care was disrupted, and our marketing team worked with infection prevention to ensure proper PPE and precautions throughout the process.
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Inside the COVID ICU

"I can’t tell you how many times unvaccinated patients have said ‘If I could do it all over, I would get the vaccine and I am sorry that I ever told somebody not to.'” 
~Sarah Curran, R.N. and ECMO specialist

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Maintaining Mental Health

"It can be very defeating, and you have to be able to work through that process and be the support for the families and the patient as well as making sure that you’re taking care of yourself with your own mental health."
~Russell Beggarly, R.N. and COVID-19 unit director

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​​​​​​The Vaccine Changes Things

"We’ve had people right before we were about to intubate them, just begging and wishing that they could go ahead and get the vaccine, and at that point it’s too late. For what we see here and what we deal with and see families go through, I would reconsider that decision because it is an extremely isolating illness."
~Julie Amoroso, R.N.

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​​​​​​ECMO Treatment

"We’re seeing 20- and 30-year-olds … no underlying conditions, never get sick. ECMO itself is a last-ditch effort, so your chances of surviving are not great. The people that we have had make it make me so proud of them, of what I do and what my team does." 
~Sarah Curran, R.N. and ECMO specialist

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​​​​​​COVID Challenges

"It’s been distressing to see how poorly people respond to therapy once they get COVID. Often we’re just doing supportive care and that’s hard, when your medicines don’t work very well and your patients are deathly ill and nobody’s getting better.” 
~Frank Biscardi, M.D.

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