Tyler Price, MD | Medical Director of Emergency
I have had the opportunity to experience a wide variety of cases during the course of my career as an Emergency Medicine physician. From interesting and complex to the more basic and routine. From severe trauma cases and burns to precipitous deliveries and broken bones. One never knows what will come through the doors of an ER.
Ultimately, I have come to appreciate that there are ebbs and that come naturally to the healthcare field. Recently, one such area that has had a significant spike has been respiratory illnesses. This has been no more apparent than the last two years with COVID disrupting the entire globe and extremely sick patients inundating local hospitals. Then, after the system adjusted and COVID became more manageable, the flu and RSV season of 2022 hit with a vengeance harder and faster than before.
More and more stories are springing up in the news of critically ill infants being rushed into the ER and stressed parents having to drop everything to try and care for their sick child. Unfortunately, due to a lack of available beds and staffing along with increased patient volumes, this surge in respiratory illness is straining the whole pediatric ICU system.
While telemedicine doesn’t replace the bedside clinicians delivering the lifesaving care to these children, in can be leveraged to help alleviate some of the burden on the doctors and nurses who are running on empty. Here’s how:
- Augment Care: Sites with telemedicine in their ERs can hit the button right away and leverage a team of board-certified ER physicians and nurses to help manage patient care.
- Maximize Time: When a facility is experiencing a surge in cases, time is of the essence, and telemedicine allows local clinicians to optimize their time with each patient. By relying on Avel for help with documentation and other clerical / admin tasks, patients can be taken care of in a more expedited manner.
- Triage and Transport: In addition, with the right assistance, the local team can use their telemedicine partners to help transfer patients to facilities with higher levels of care. For example, even though there is a shortage of beds, our team at Avel works tirelessly to try and find transfer beds for our ER partners. We continue to call and, more often than not, are able to not only find critical care beds for patients but also arrange transport (ground or air) as well.
- Help with the Difficult Cases: The cases of severe RSV in infants and young children are difficult to treat, requiring a highly focused and sensitive approach. Our team can help the local physician or provider analyze cases and perform delicate procedures – such as restoring airways or administering medication – to ensure the child has the best chance at recovering as quick as possible.
There is no magic bullet that will address all the issues posed by this serious RSV and Flu surge. Avel eCare and its Emergency and Critical Care teams stand ready to support you and your team, and we are always available for phone or video calls to discuss further. We are your partner in care and want to make sure your community has every available resource to help combat this unnatural and far-reaching surge.
Night or day, never hesitate to give us a call. We’re here to help!