Tulsa's OSU Medical Center Takes COVID-19 Screening Precautions

Friday, April 10th 2020, 6:30 pm

OSU Medical Center is one of Oklahoma's "surge" hospitals intended to help if other hospitals get overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. Now, the hospital is taking several steps to stop the spread of the virus.

OSU Medical Center's Emergency Room is social distancing its patients, and it all starts by screening them separately at the entrance.

Everybody who doesn't come to OSU Medical Center by ambulance, filters through this tent outside the emergency room near 11th and Houston.

OSU Medical Center Emergency Medicine Department Chairman Aaron Lane said this way, staff can get a mask on the patients, and get them into the right room.

"It's a way quickly for us to identify patients that have symptoms, or a presentation consistent with the novel coronavirus," Lane said.

A physician inside the tent can treat other types of patients as well, like those dealing with sprains.

"It keeps them from coming inside the emergency department and being exposed to people who are potentially ill," Lane said.

Right now, Lane said they Are seeing an increase in patients with pneumonia associated with COVID-19.

He said people have been doing a good job of not going to the hospital unless they need emergency care for non COVID-19-related ailments.

Lane said social distancing recommendations and safer-at-home rules have helped flatten the curve, and the strain on hospitals in Tulsa like OSU Medical Center, isn't as heavy as originally expected.

"If you look at the death projections and the hospitalization projections; they're all much less than they were when this first started. So, I think when this is all over and we look back on it, we'll certainly be able to recognize that all the sacrifices we made were not for nothing," Lane said.

Doctor Lane said fortunately, OSU Medical Center leaders have not had to deal with a shortage of protective equipment.

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