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Construction on the ninth floor of MMH almost complete

The floor will have 48 beds and will be the designated area for COVID-19 patients.

MIDLAND, Texas — Across the Basin, COVID numbers are picking up and so are hospitalizations. 

Midland Memorial Hospital has seen a big jump in COVID-19 patients recently. Something different about this spike is that over 50 percent of them are ending up in critical care.  

The spike we saw this summer saw only about 15-20 percent of the COVID patients in critical care.  

Luckily, construction on the ninth floor of the Scharbauer Tower is expected to be completed this week.  

“We want to cohort the COVID patients as much as possible," said Kit Bredimus, Midland Memorial Hospital's Chief Nursing Officer. "The ninth floor is the ideal space and we have designed it to handle this population because every room is monitored and can maintain negative pressure.”  

But what is negative pressure exactly?   

“Normally in a regular room the air would come out of the vents and push the air into the hallways to recirculate," Bredimus said. "On a reverse isolation room, the air is pulled from the halls and then vents out to the outdoors." 

Before COVID-19 patients can experience that negative pressure on the ninth floor the hospital has to move them, and that is no small feat.  

“This is something we’ve never done before," Bredimus said. "This one will be logistically challenging because we have to move all the equipment, the patients, and these patients are isolation patients." 

Isolation patients have to be moved in a very coordinated manner to make sure the hospital is limiting exposure risk.

Bredimus says they will start moving patients on November 9th, but he is hoping that they do not see the floor filled with COVID-19 patients.  

MMH is reminding folks to continue wearing a mask and practicing social distancing to help keep the numbers low.

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