South Nassau Hospital: 'We are in a constant state of readiness'

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Medical professionals across Long Island are being trained to handle the influx of patients as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise.

At South Nassau Hospital in Oceanside, staff members are in the process of building a temporary intake area for suspended cases of coronavirus so they can be quickly isolated. Health care workers on the front line say training and preparations are helping.

"We are in a constant state of readiness," says Lori Edelman, of South Nassau Hospital. "We have a couple different areas that we are getting ready with equipment or what not. "So if it happens overnight we are ready."

Coronavirus Prevention: What you can do to protect yourself 

At most health care facilities there are now warning notices on doors instructing patients to let medical staff know about any flu-like symptoms before patients enter the building. Officials say that will help protect staff and other patients from catching the virus.

Thanks to modern technology there are also ways for people to see a doctor without going to an office.

One medical group says its telemedicine calls have doubled in the last couple days. PM Pediatrics in Syosset says telemedicine is basically a video call through a smartphone or computer to a physician or other professional. In this way, the patient does not always have to come into the office. That way, doctors say, minor problems can be diagnosed and treated easily.

"You can see things like pinkeye, we can see rashes, I can look in your throat, I can even assess your breathing if you're having difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, what is your cough sound like, do I hear audible wheezing in a child that has something called croup, we hear like a barking cough. So, there are a lot of things that we can assess and treat that you wouldn't even think were possible," says Dr. Sheryl Cohen.

PM Pediatrics says about 90% of its telemedicine calls do not require for a patient to come into the office for a follow-up, which can reduce a patient’s potential exposure if there are other sick patients around.

GET INFORMATION: Coronavirus details from the CDC

GET THE FACTS: What you need to know about coronavirus

MORE: A list of area schools and universities closed amid COVID-19 outbreak

MORE: Suffolk health officials: Member of Farmingdale State College tests positive for COVID-19 

MORE: ‘We need the public’s help to contain the virus;’ officials declare imminent threat 

MORE: 41 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Nassau; 1 at assisted living facility 

MORE: Coronavirus: What to do if you’re sick

Photos: Impact of coronavirus around the world

 

 

 

 

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