Video: EMRMC says 8 died of COVID within 24 hours
Published 2:59 pm Tuesday, August 24, 2021
This story was updated at 4:35 p.m. to include comments from Director of Marketing & Public Relations at Ephraim McDowell Health Jeremy Cocanaugher, as well as data from EMH.
The video below features Steve Haines, who is the intensive care unit director for Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center. He shared that over the weekend, eight people died at EMRMC due to COVID-19 within 24 hours.
This video was shared on Ephraim McDowell Health’s Facebook page, and Gov. Andy Beshear presented it during his COVID-19 briefing on Monday.
In the video, Haines said the COVID-19 surge that has happened over the past few weeks has been “pretty horrific.”
“This time, it was like the door opened and it just kicked it in,” he said in the video. “We were immediately overwhelmed. This last two weeks has been, as I said, has been pretty horrible with the way it’s just come on, and unfortunately people are passing away from this, quickly.”
The hospital has been overwhelmed to the point that their morgue capacity isn’t sufficient.
“We only have a three-bed morgue at the hospital, so we kind of overwhelmed what we have,” Haynes said in the video. “We were frantically scrambling to try to rent a refrigerator truck to take care of these people.”
Funeral homes couldn’t pick up the bodies fast enough, he said.
The overwhelming majority of the people the hospital is intubating are not vaccinated, and Haines urged viewers to get vaccinated, saying he doesn’t think the situation would be so severe if more people were vaccinated.
As families have been losing loved ones, some of their last conversations have been over FaceTime. Haines said in some cases, EMRMC staff have been working on someone’s lungs, but then the patient will experience clotting in their arteries and they’ll die that way, for example, or of stroke or other causes of death.
“It’s a horrible disease,” he said. “We’ll take somebody out, we’ll take them to the morgue when we just can’t save them, and there’s somebody waiting two minutes later.”
Before the video ended with Haines in tears, he said the current situation is that housekeeping will come into a room and clean, then a new patient quickly comes into the room.
“It’s a horrible rinse and repeat cycle.”
When asked about the current COVID-19 situation at Ephraim McDowell Health’s various locations, Director of Marketing & Public Relations at EMH Jeremy Cocanaugher shared the following data on Tuesday, for that day alone: