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Swedish Medical Center Remarkably Quiet During Coronavirus Pandemic

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) - As hospitals prepare for a surge of coronavirus patients, staff at an Englewood level one trauma center are sharing positive news. They are ready.

"I think the public should have a lot of faith in what we're doing here at Swedish. We are working day and night to ensure we are going to be able to meet the needs of the public," said Lonnie Martinez, Administrative Director of Clinical Operations at Swedish Medical Center.

(credit: CBS)

Tuesday offered a rare opportunity for Martinez and his team of respiratory therapists a moment to reflect on the past few weeks.

"The numbers are telling us that something big is coming and our staff and the rest of the hospital are preparing for it so if it comes we'll be ready, and if not then we did a lot of great preparation for it," said Abby Ford, an RT at Swedish.

Swedish confirmed Tuesday it has 26 positive COVID-19 cases and 20 others pending. While it's expecting more, a look inside the hospital showed a calm scene.

Martinez walked the halls with a cellphone to give CBS4 a look.

"This is quiet for a level one trauma center. I want to thank everybody for doing their part and keeping their distance. Social distancing is paying off. We're not nearly as busy as we normally are at this time."

While hospitals across the nation struggle with shortages of supplies, staff at Swedish say they feel prepared not only with personal protective equipment but ventilators as well.

"I am more than confident that we have enough supplies, enough ventilators, and enough staff to care for these patients appropriately," he said.

(credit: CBS)

The fight against COVID-19 wouldn't be possible without the skills of a respiratory therapist and ventilators are one of their last best tools to help critical COVID-19 patients.

Ford stated it plainly, "If someone in the hospital is having a hard time breathing or stops breathing, they call us to make them breath again."

It's a heavy burden to bare and while it's been mentally straining for Ford to think about, it's what she signed up for.

"We have a plan in place. We haven't seen the surge hit yet but when it does we're ready for it and we feel very confident that we'll be able to handle whatever is coming."

While Martinez and other staff were quick to credit the public and social distancing for the quiet ER, he said his staff deserve major recognition.

"I couldn't be more proud of my team during this time. It's really a testament to their professionalism and their can do attitude. They're coming to work every single day with a positive attitude and amazing spirit. They're here to support the community, here to support each other. A phenomenal group of clinicians. We're lucky to have them."

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