COVID-19 has been hitting close to home lately, as hospitals in the Sioux City metro see more patients testing positive for the novel coronavirus. Dr. Mark Abraham, of Dakota Dunes, is a front line healthcare worker witnessing the surge and helping with the medical response.
“I am a general and trauma surgeon based at Midlands Clinic in Dakota Dunes,” Abraham detailed. “I work at MercyONE, Dunes Surgical Hospital and UPH [UnityPoint Health] St Luke’s. I also serve as the Medical Staff President at MercyONE hospital. I am not part of the administration per se but do assist with some planning and decision making. I have been very involved with the care of COVID-19 patients through some interventions in the ICU as well as through the implementation of a research protocol focused upon adjunctive strategies to treat COVID-19.”
In March, area hospitals stopped conducting elective surgeries and non-urgent procedures due to mandates by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. Medical professionals and the way they practice medicine had to be altered in order to slow the potential spread of COVID-19. Safety measures, planning and constant evaluation of a fluid situation have taken precedence for many in the healthcare community.
“Life has definitely changed,” Abraham explained. “The first wave was the shut down of elective or non-urgent surgeries that coincided with a drastic reduction in the number of patients seen in the clinics and even coming through the hospital emergency rooms. With this, most practices have altered their patient care patterns, minimizing patient exposures. Then the surge hit the hospital. This slowed down even some of the cancer surgeries that would be considered semi-urgent.”
See full story in this week’s Dakota Dunes / North Sioux City Times.