Vidant Health officials discuss urgency surrounding rising COVID-19 cases

Coronavirus

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Health on Monday released a public service announcement sharing their concerns related to COVID-19.

The PSA comes as health leaders continue to voice their concern about coronavirus and capacity issues at Vidant due to the number of patients there with COVID-19. In a press conference on Monday, health officials called on the public to do its part to help relieve the hospital system.

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“We are currently seeing record numbers presenting to the emergency department seeking care,” said Dr. Leigh Patterson, emergency medical physician with Vidant Medical Center. “We are seeing record numbers of children, more children than we have seen at any point in the pandemic.”

(Vidant Health graphic)

Last week, Vidant officials said they were at capacity in the hospital’s intensive care unit due to the number of COVID-19 cases. Vidant is reviewing all elective surgeries to see which ones they can postpone.

Vidant officials said younger adults ages 25-49 make up the largest group of patients at the hospital and are almost all unvaccinated. They also spoke about the myth of children not being impacted by COVID-19.

(Vidant Health graphic)

“We are seeing on a regular basis children being admitted to the intensive care unit both with the inflammatory process that we saw in the first wave, and that affects all the organs and gets children incredibly sick,” said Dr. Matthew Ledoux, a pediatrician with Vidant Medica. “We’re also seeing acute COVID infections on the rise.”

One of the things that Vidant and ECU’s Brody School of Medicine are doing to spread the word is release a PSA. It will air on TV and online to encourage people to get the COVID-19 vaccine and to follow COVID protocols to stay healthy like wearing a mask and washing your hands.

According to ECU News Services, featured in the videos are:

• Dr. Paul Bolin Jr. — Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine and chief of Adult Medicine Services at Vidant Medical Center.

Dennis Campbell II — Chief Nurse Executive and Vice President of Patient Care Services at Vidant Beaufort Hospital.

• Dr. Rachel Roper — Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine.

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