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Billings Clinic staff scrambling as ICU fills with COVID patients

Billings Clinic staff scrambling as ICU fills with COVID patients
Posted at 12:15 PM, Oct 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-17 14:15:16-04

BILLINGS - Not only are hospital beds filling up fast in Montana, at Billing Clinic the intensive care unit is full.

ICU Nurse Deanna Evans says the ICU is “beyond capacity,” and more than half of the patients are on a ventilator.

The hospital now has coronavirus patients in almost every department throughout its campus.

It's to the point now medical teams, after much evaluation, are working to move patients together into the same room.

This week, staff moved husband and wife Stacey and Eloise Stewart Jr. into the same ICU Room, and their children must now view their parents through a window.

Billings Clinic is reaching new records every day, and this peak in cases is tough on families and on the Billings Clinic team.

"So we'll continue to provide the best care we can and create the spaces that we need to keep creating, but we implore the community to think twice," said Deanna Evans, a Billings Clinic intensive care unit nurse. "Give it a chance. We've seen peaks and valleys. When tougher restrictions are in place there are lower cases, when fewer restrictions are in place, there are higher cases. We look at the trends and think what we would do for our families and our neighbors."

The hospital is now in the process of building four additional ICU rooms.

And Billings Clinic will see a wave of extra help when 75 temporary staff from across the nation arrive next week.