First look inside COVID-19 ICU units at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital


ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — More than 19 months after the coronavirus pandemic hit the Commonwealth, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital is providing the community with a peek inside the hospital’s COVID-19 ICU units.

Each morning, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers gather to discuss their action plan to keep their patients alive, according to Carilion Clinic.

RNs in the ICU units spoke about their typical day, listen as they talk about the good and bad days as patients battle COVID:

“At the beginning, you could sort of expect what you were going to come in and do,” said Cassidy Agee, a respiratory therapist at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital’s 8 Mountain ICU, which has been a coronavirus unit throughout the pandemic. “The second year-and-a-half, it’s a complete free-for-all. You have no idea what you’re walking into. Each day is usually sad and depressing, but we try to cheer each other up behind the scenes because you have to find some way to survive this.”

Hospital officials say it’s more important than ever to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, adding that this wave of the virus is different than the initial spread.

“After the first wave, many people thought COVID was over. It is not over. Our health care workers are begging people to get vaccinated, if not for the community for themselves,” Carilion Clinic said in a statement to WFXR News. “As you know, the Delta Variant has presented new challenges for our frontline health care staff. Our ICUs are treating younger, typically unvaccinated patients who are oftentimes sicker.”

Nurses from the ICU units spoke about the hardships they go through on a daily basis. Sarah Curran, an RN at Carilion Clinic who runs the ECMO treatments, shared her day with WFXR News.

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