SAN ANTONIO – The number of hospitalizations related to COVID-19 is starting to decline, according to the City of San Antonio’s website. But that trend is not something emergency room Doctor Robert Frolichstein is seeing at Methodist Hospital.
“I know overall the numbers are starting to trend down and that’s a great thing. I don’t know that I’ve felt that so much in the emergency department,” Frolichstein said. Thankfully, most of the patients that we see with either known or suspected COVID are able to be discharged. But we’re stretched and certainly still seeing those that require hospitalization.”
When the pandemic began, health officials were most concerned about overwhelming the hospital system and the safety of healthcare workers. Dr. Frolichstein says Methodist has been able to keep staff from getting sick and prevent dire situations where patients would not be treated.
“We have really not had much illness within the Methodist health care system of staff, nursing staff or physicians. There are some notable exceptions and there has been some illness. It’s still a little unclear whether that illness was acquired at the hospital or in the community, but it’s been much less than I feared,” he said.
Frolichstein believes the processes to protect staff and patients have helped show the spread within the hospital. He stresses that it is safe to go to the hospital if someone is in need of treatment for non-COVID-19 related illnesses.
What Dr. Frolichstein’s number one concern?
“Whether we all have the stamina to keep doing this. I mean, it’s not easy. It’s not easy for anybody in the community. It’s certainly not easy for those of us who work in the hospital and then in the emergency department. It just changes our job dramatically and it’s hard. It’s looking like this is a marathon, not a sprint. And so that’s my biggest concern.”
WATCH: Dr. Frolichstein’s interview on the Nightbeat