Citing a "dramatic escalation in cases," Steward Health Care announced plans Sunday night to open intensive care units solely for treatment of COVID-19 patients at most of its hospitals across the state.
Carney Hospital in Dorchester, Morton Hospital in Taunton, Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton and St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Brighton will set up new COVID-specific ICU beds.
St. Elizabeth's, Good Samaritan and Holy Family Hospital in Methuen all have two ICU departments, and Steward Chief Medical Officer Joseph Weinstein said they would keep one COVID-free as long as possible to limit risk of transmission for patients with pre-existing conditions. St. Anne's Hospital in Fall River will also limit COVID contact as long a possible, Weinstein said.
"Like other hospitals, the Steward family of hospitals has seen a dramatic increase in the number of patients seeking medical care," Weinstein said in a press release. "These patients often require minute to minute care with life sustaining machinery, medications and personnel who are at the bedside ready to react to any and all changes. Every critical care unit across the Commonwealth has been overwhelmed by the large numbers of sick patients as well as the acuity of these patients. This trend will accelerate in the coming days and weeks."