San Antonio hospital system, city leaders urge residents to skip large gatherings, follow CDC guidelines

Woman, 24, shares her experience with COVID-19

SAN ANTONIO – Nicole Miranda, 24, is quarantined after recently finding out she tested positive for COVID-19.

“I couldn’t breathe for like a second because my congestion, and then at night, I got night sweats, and my eyes were burning,” Miranda said.

Miranda said she is taking extra precautions at home since she lives with her parents. She said she does not know where she contracted the coronavirus.

“Just wear your mask, wash your hands. It does happen, you can get it,” Miranda said.

On Thursday afternoon, local hospital leaders asked the community to do its part as hospitals inch closer to reaching capacity.

“Please, please, please wear a mask,” said Matthew Stone, CEO of Baptist Health System.

Allen Harrison, with Methodist Health Care System, said two weeks ago, they had 75 positive COVID-19 patients, and on Thursday, they were at 343.

“Some people tell you it’s just like the flu, except its 50 times more likely to kill you than the flu is,” Harrison said.

A spokesperson for Methodist Healthcare said the hospital system has a full supply of ventilators and one of the world’s largest extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) programs. Methodist is currently taking care of 10 COVID-19 patients with this alternative respiratory treatment.

“It’s a last resort, not appropriate for everybody. It’s extraordinarily complicated. It’s a very difficult course of treatment. But in some cases, with people who fit the appropriate profile, it can be lifesaving,” Harrison said.

A spokesperson for University Health System released the following statement:

“We have learned that patients respond well to the medication Remdesivir, which has been shown to shorten the overall length of time patients are hospitalized. We are the largest study site in a national research study being done on its effectiveness. We have also learned to monitor patients closely for potential blood clots that are associated with COVID-19, and we routinely add blood thinners to their treatment plans to prevent clotting and potentially deadly strokes. We’ve also learned that in some cases ‘proning’ patients, or putting them on their stomachs, helps their lungs function better, as well as giving them anti-inflammatory steroids to help their bodies fend off the damaging inflammation that COVID-19 can cause.”

A spokesperson for Baptist Health System released the following statement:

“Ventilators are not our first line of defense. We are using therapies such as high-flow oxygen systems and other non-invasive treatments before considering mechanical ventilation. Patients do better using non-invasive strategies. We currently have a surplus of ventilators, however we are proactively working to procure additional equipment should it be needed. We have access to supplies through our parent company and have the ability to procure equipment through STRAC if needed. Every Baptist hospital is working on adding capacity to meet the extremely high demand at this time. The community can help by heeding the direction given by the Mayor and County Judge. Please wear a mask, social distance, and wash your hands. All Bexar County residents should refrain from large family gatherings this 4Th of July.”

About the Authors

Tiffany Huertas is a reporter for KSAT 12 known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.

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