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Were back and im joined by abc news. Dr. Jen.
Asked. You who whos our own womens health correspondent. As well.
And were answering all critical questions about the chronal virus everything you and your family need to know to be prepared to face the outbreak is happening head on. But first joining us via zoom is a doctor who has raised more than a few eyebrows with his cnncom. Piece.
Im an emergency doctor. I expect to get coronavirus dr. James phillips.
Now if someone were sick in dc. Today. And i headed into the er you are the position.
They would see so i appreciate you of being on the front lines. And all the other er docs as well dr. Phillips.
If folks havent read your article has become pretty popular explain your provocative perspective. Why do you think. Its inevitable.
You will get the virus well my my approach is to be honest because we know that by being on the front lines were in the closest proximity to patients who are going to be coming in to be checked and the amount of time that were going to spend in that proximity puts all health care workers at risk just like patients who are in mass gatherings or nursing homes or places. Where people are in close proximity. Were at high risk and so while we certainly need to protect everyone whos that high risk like our nursing home.
Patients. And another elderly health care workers need particular exemption.
And dr. Phillips. I want to jump right in because.
Theres been a change in the testing. Criteria recently for suspected people. With coronavirus are you finding that the patients you want to test actually can be tested or are you getting another roadblock.
If you will now from the state department of health or your local department of health. Its been a mixed bag. Things have certainly improved over the last 48 hours or so.
We now have two routes to get patients tested that is both through our state departments of health additionally through some private labs. That now have that capability where we can do the nasal swab and send it off both ways dont take several days. But we do have at least two parallel routes now we can go down your disaster medicine specialist.
So because thats just straight up is the er. The best place to go for anyone who has symptoms and things they may have coronavirus if its walk us through specifically what happens. If you think you are sick enough that you would normally go to the emergency department normally need to go see your doctor by all means do so we dont want people staying at home and getting sick when they really need to be seen.
But whats very important for people to know is that our health care system is at risk of getting overwhelmed if this virus continues to spread at an exponential rate. What we want to avoid are the patients what we call the worried well of coming into the emergency department coming into their doctors offices and calling ambulances. All of those things take away very valuable resources that we need to be spending on the truly sick and that goes for the testing too right now as we have limited testing and a prolonged period of time to get those back.
We want to reserve those tests and those resources for patients that we know need them for sure on the front lines. Have you actually gotten a lot busier is the er crowded. Now ers across the country are starting to see a significant uptick in the number of patients coming in both with real symptoms that we are concerned about but also more minor symptoms that we hope dont represent minimally minimally.
Symptomatic co. Mid nineteen well god bless you for doing what you do. Dr.
Phelps are all the er docs. And nurses out there.
Thank you very much helping us get prepared doc. And i have three questions that will count all here so they get away jen. Yeah.
So were gonna start with elizabeth. Whats your question. Good morning.
And thank you for taking my question um. Im a mom and a teacher. So im exposed to the kids.
All the time and theyre my priority. So what ive heard is that the kids are not as susceptible as the older adults with it with the disease. But with the virus.
However their schools being closed across new york. So that is my concern and how should hazardous the teachers react that should we advocate further closing. I think thats a really important question and i think its important to understand it on a couple of different levels.
Number one while children dont appear to be very symptomatic or hardly hit by this new coronavirus that doesnt mean theyre not getting infected with it so. The theory. And and really.
This is kind of the general assumption at this point is that they are getting infected and theyre spreading the virus. There the vector one of the vectors for spread because they have no symptoms so when you see schools closing. That is a measure of what we call social distancing not just to protect that population that school because remember there are adults like you who are working in that school.
But its also to act as a buffer to protect the more vulnerable population. Which are the elderly because if your student goes home and sees their grandparent that could be a problem of course. Im caught here go ahead.
Whats your name. Yes.
My name is marie. Im a nurse in a large hospital and my question is im noticing that we dont have enough supplies at times. How what is the government going to do with helping the caregivers of these patients to get the supplies necessary to keep us protected because we are on the front lines.
And thats a really important issue and thats why weve been so vocal as has the surgeon general way of saying dont hoard. These supplies things like surgical masks. Even though.
Its understandable. It gives people a false sense of security. But a recent survey.
Done by the national nurses association found that 30 percent of nurses surveyed felt that they didnt have the supplies they needed to protect themselves. So as you know youre a representative from your medical team. Dr.
Khoo pain. And myself just met with vice president pence and the director of the corona task force. Who assured us that there are right now 43 million n95 respirators.
Which are what the health care providers. Need and they have plans to ramp that up to 500 million over the next year or so. But that is exactly why when people hoard these things too we use them in the lay public.
It puts lives like yours at risk. Obviously for all nurses out there youre the glue that holds the system together weakness is not our ability of government to make masks or for people take care of themselves. Its no one in the hospital.
When the sick folks come in so thanks for what you do. But the masks are critical. They dont then fit normally by most peoples faces.
If you dont have it done professionally so if i see what youre wasting. Everyones time and money. Well be right back with some more urging questions on coronavirus in america with our town hall including what to do if you have a trip plant music you you be sure to subscribe to my channel.
So you dont miss anything and remember to check back often to see whats new .
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