United Regional reassures the community it’s safe to seek treatment

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WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) —As emergency rooms in bigger cities continue to struggle with hoards of patients showing symptoms of COVID-19, things at United Regional are relatively quiet nowadays, which is a good and potentially bad sign.

United Regional’s trauma medical director, Dr. Brett May says people are forgetting there are still things to worry about outside of COVID-19.

“People still have heart attacks, people still have strokes, people still have appendicitis and surgical emergencies, and we don’t want you staying at home with those things goings on because they’re only going to get worse,” says Dr. May.

Symptoms that require immediate medical attention at the ER are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bleeding
  • Animal Bites/Stings
  • Severe Injuries

According to Dr. May, United Regional has created several ways to screen for the coronavirus and keep patients separated as much as possible.

“When somebody comes into the hospital now, we immediately screen everybody, whether they’re a patient, a visitor, or a health care provider, I get screened everyday when I come into the hospital…We have entire floors and icu’s that are isolated for those patients that are at risk of COVID.”

Last month, a local physician predicted to city councilors that hospital beds in Wichita Falls would be overrun by April 25th and all ventilators will be taken up by April 19th, but Dr. May says they are fully prepared to handle this outbreak.

“One thing people need to recognize is that we deal with infectious disease processes all the time, this is not something new for us. We have a year round stockpile of PPE that we keep…from a testing standpoint, we’re one of the top county’s in the state in our ability to test, everyone that’s come into United Regional has been treated, has recovered and has been discharged.”

As long as we continue carrying out important health practices, Dr. May is confident this community will come out on top.

“I think Wichita Falls is doing great. I think from a community standpoint and health care standpoint, we can be held up as a model to anyone in the country.”

United Regional has also set up a triage the ER parking lot to keep patients separated and treat minor ailments, and COVID-19 testing is being held at their Care-Plus Walk-In clinic on Barnett Road.

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