Alexandria, VA

Inova Alexandria Hospital resumed elective surgeries and other elective procedures on Friday, and hospital President Dr. Rina Bansal says that the number of patients in the intensive care unit is going down.

Visitation is still restricted at the hospital, although patients are allowed into the facility with a companion.

“The hospital is still a safe place to come to, and we want you to come to the emergency room in the event that you need those services,” Bansal told ALXnow. “Our teams have gotten into the rhythm of taking care of isolated COVID patients. The morale is strong and we’re making sure our team members are taking time for themselves to minimize burnout.”

Bansal said that the number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital is hovering at around 75, and that it peaked over the course of the last month at around 80 to 85 patients. While she has not drawn conclusions as to why the number of patients have decreased in the ICU, she said that her staff’s understanding of how to treat the virus has changed since the first cases started to come into the hospital’s emergency room in March.

“I do believe that the overall philosophy around the management of COVID is changing as we learn more about the disease process,” Bansal said. “Some of the interventions that we were being more aggressive about earlier, as in intubation. We’re now learning that sometimes that’s not the best thing for the patient.”

As Virginia prepares to reopen its economy, Inova Alexandria Hospital spokeswoman Melissa Riddy advised residents to continue to follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention‘s guidance on self-protection, which includes wearing a cloth face-mask, hand-washing, avoiding close contact with others and regularly using disinfectant.

Additionally, the hospital is looking for recovered patients to donate blood.

How Can I Help: Convalescent Plasma Donation

If you have had a positive COVID-19 test and have been symptom free for 14 days or more, learn how you can donate Convalescent Plasma. The liquid part of the blood (the plasma) will be used to treat some of our sickest COVID-19 patients as the antibodies developed by those who have recovered may assist in the recovery of those still battling COVID. Contact Inova Blood Donor Services by calling 1-866-BLOODSAVES or visiting www.inovablood.org/COVID19PLASMA.

Posted by Inova Alexandria Hospital on Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Staff photo by James Cullum

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