MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Mayo Clinic’s ICU director says the number of critical care patients at the hospital has stabilized for now.

Dr. Richard Oeckler says there has been no significant increase in the number of patients needing critical care at the Mayo Clinic since the stay at home order went into effect in Minnesota.

He is hopeful there will be enough supplies for Mayo if social distancing continues to work.
“Minnesota is a shining star in the country in regards to infection rates and how that curve is increasing,” Dr. Oeckler said.
Dr. Oeckler said the treatment for patients ranges on severity of symptoms. Patients being hospitalized with less severe symptoms may start with things like IV fluids or oxygen.
A patient with more serious symptoms may move on to a breathing tube or ventilator, and life support in the most severe cases.
Dr. Oeckler says he doesn’t anticipate people most people having any long term damage from COVID-19. However, data from previously known diseases shows there can be lasting effects for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome or severe cases.
“We know from previous data that even before coronavirus those folks can have lasting effects on not only their breathing function also susceptible to other problems getting back to normalcy for up to several months to potentially even years,” Dr. Oeckler said.
Patients are kept in isolation from their family and friends but the Mayo Clinic does make an exception to the rule if someone is not going to survive. The hospital still needs to limit who is able to visit.
Dr. Oeckler says he wants to remind people that the majority of cases are mild and will not require hospitalization. Of those who are hospitalized, he said most are out within a week’s time.

Kate Raddatz

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