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Health care workers faced ‘exhausting’ year battling COVID-19

In a March 22, 2021 article in the News-Enterprise, the paper highlighted the toll of COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare providers. The article comes one year after COVID-19 was first reported in the region. Below is an excerpt.

Health care workers around the world have been working long, demanding hours, striving to save lives, while also exposing themselves to COVID-19. One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, local health care workers say the pandemic has taken a toll on them.

When the first positive case arrived in Kentucky in March last year, Dr. Aaron Mulhall, Baptist Health Hardin pulmonary critical care physician, said they did not know what it was going to look like. He said the hospital made several changes in order to better protect people.

“We went five or six months where it was really light and then we had this explosion of patients between November to January. It was rough,” he said, adding at one point they had more than 50 patients with COVID-19. “Those are patients that aren’t normally there. They are all very sick.”

While caring for these patients, Mulhall said it’s in the back of your mind, “There is a possibility I could get it and end up in this situation.”

“We’ve learned a lot in the last year in terms of how we can protect ourselves,” he said, noting the extensive personal protective equipment, or PPE, they wear.

“The respiratory therapists … they’re having to wear their N95 masks for 12 straight hours with little break. They probably had the most daunting task out of all of us during this pandemic,” he said.

Read the entire article here.

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