WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - A Lowville man recently spent a month in the hospital sick with COVID-19. Doctors told him if he had gotten the virus in March, he would have died. We take a look at the advancements doctors have made to save lives.
“The only thing they told me, if this happened to me back in March, I would never survived it, I would have been dead,” said Joe Bush of Lowville.
Bush spent a month in the hospital due to COVID. Three weeks in an intensive care unit. Doctors said he had less than a 5 percent chance of surviving.
But because of medical advancements that have been made since March, doctors were able to save his life and he’s not the only one.
“I would say we have definitely made strides in terms of improving patient outcomes,” said Dr. Vivian Keenan, critical care physician at Samaritan Medical Center.
Dr. Keenan has been with Samaritan for almost three years. She says at the beginning of the pandemic, COVID patients would be treated as if they had Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, or ARDS. But the doctor says ARDS and COVID are not the same.
“There is a significant difference in how the COVID patients respond in their respiratory failure than traditional,” she said.
As a result, fewer patients are being put on ventilators. Dr. Keenan says they noticed patients started to do better with their respiratory issues when given steroids.
“And we’ve had studies now that have come out, a few studies that actually do confirm what we were doing. More anecdotally, that these patients did have improvement in mortality when they were given corticosteroids so that’s become sort of a mainstay in terms of treatment,” she said.
As far as vaccines go, Dr. Keenan says to be effective, it will take a lot of people to get vaccinated and that will take time. She expects the effectiveness to be that of the flu vaccine.