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Martinsburg VA Medical Center prepares for possible “surge”

April 16th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

The Martinsburg VA Medical Center (VAMC) is preparing for the possible influx of COVID-19 patients by maximizing and expanding specialized wards designated for patients. Over the past three weeks, the medical center has converted multiple Veteran patient care rooms to assist not only Veterans but community partners when the surge hits the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.

“We are trying to protect our Veterans as well as our health care personnel by following VA and CDC guidance and creating specific COVID-19 units,” said Ann M. Laake, MD, Infectious Diseases Physician and Chairperson of Infection, Prevention and Control Program.

Currently the medical center has 45 rooms designated for COVID-19 patients. Each room is a single patient room with negative pressure and its own bathroom and shower.

“These units have created an increased number of airborne isolation rooms. In addition to personal protective equipment (PPE), the units provide an additional layer of protection to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to our employees and other Veteran inpatients while we provide care for sick Veterans,” Dr. Laake.

Specific employees are assigned to the units to ensure proper staffing and level of care for the COVID-19 patients. These employees are only allowed to work on that designated unit and will not go back to their original job area to help prevent cross-contamination or more exposure.

The medical center is equipped with ventilators, personal protective equipment (PPE) for employees and has been offering additional specialized training to help prepare and plan during this pandemic.

If you have symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath, call the Martinsburg VAMC before going to a clinic, urgent care center, or emergency room. Calling first helps us protect you, medical staff, and other patients.

3 comments on this post.
  1. Dan:

    Exactly where is the information for a surge coming from? Seems to me like people are spreading disinformation.

  2. Goose:

    Doesn’t matter where the info came from really. They’re prepared for more cases and they’ll be ready!

  3. Lav:

    > Each individual state is keeping tabs on where they are in the “curve”. This helps them be aware if they are getting ready to “peak”, when they are at peak, and when they are past peak.

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