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CCMH expected to break record number of COVID patients

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 11:52 PM CST
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - As the Omicron variant continues to spread across the nation and locally, Comanche County Memorial Hospital is starting to see record-breaking hospitalization numbers.

CCMH usually has 130 to 140 patients at a time.

As of Friday, they have 188 patients.

66 of those are COVID patients and that ties the record of their last surge.

They are expecting to break that record at any moment.

While hospitalization numbers are up, the Omicron variant seems to be contagious, but not deadly.

“Before, when we had the Delta variant, our death rate was really high which was really difficult for our staff members because we didn’t go into health care to see patients pass away. Obviously, some are going to, but our rate was extremely high. With Omicron we are having some deaths, but definitely not as much so that eases the stress load off our staff,” Administrator Director Heather Love said.

During this surge, CCMH is dealing with a higher number of vaccinated patients this time around.

“We’re looking at vaccination status, but we’re also looking at patients that had their booster, so that third shot. What we’re seeing on that is we have a low percentage of patients that have actually had their booster. This is showing us how important that booster is. The other point I want to point out is those that we are seeing that are actually in critical care, most of those are totally unvaccinated,” Love said.

Rachel Talley is one of the many nurses that has been at the hospital throughout the entire pandemic.

She said it’s not personal motivation that keeps her coming back, it’s knowing that she’s doing what she can to help the community during these trying times.

“All of our patients’ families, brothers and sisters could be sick with COVID or some other chronic disease and we need to be able to take care of them even during these very hard times,” Talley said.

While the hospital is dealing with staffing issues due to the virus, Talley said she takes it upon herself to help out where she can.

“Everyone is super grateful when we run down to the ER. Sometimes we have a lot of patients in the ER waiting for a bed. So we go down there and help feed those patients, help get those patients up and back and fourth to the bathroom, help pass morning medication out and things like that for those patients. Just so that the ER can continue to properly function as a emergency room even though we are holding a lot of patients there waiting for a bed on the inside,” Talley said.

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