DOD medical staff help arrives at Beaumont Dearborn for Covid case surge

Help has arrived at Beaumont Dearborn amid a surge in Covid cases crushing the state of Michigan.

"Today’s our day one," said Lt. Col. Stephen Duryea. "We’re going to be here for about 30 days."

Friday marked the first day military medical workers are on the job at Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn

"Fourteen critical care nurses, two respiratory therapists, and four physicians in which we are incredibly grateful to FEMA, The Department of Defense, the US Army, as well as the governor's office," said David Claeys, president of Beaumont Dearborn and Farmington.

The help comes as Beaumont system wide has about 600 Covid patients and Michigan’s number of adults being hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 reached a new pandemic high this week.

These Covid cases combined with other medical cases has put a lot of stress on hospitals like Beaumont in Dearborn.

"The hospitals themselves are emergency rooms, medical-surgical units, the intensive care units across the system or at, or near, capacity," Claeys said.

But the Army’s COVID-19 Hospital Support team will work to alleviate this pressure.

"Generally our team will be assisting in the ICU and emergency department to reduce patient ratios and to provide better care," Lt. Col. Duryea said.

"It gives our team somewhat of a break and also greater capacity to deal with some of those critically ill patients," said Claeys.

The help also arrives at a time when hospital systems say that violence linked to frustration and other stressors is on the rise in hospitals

"We have seen an increase in violence," Claeys said. "We have a whole campaign against it with rules as patients and visitors come into the building."

Lt Col. Duryea believes that more hospital systems in Michigan could soon be in line to receive assistance from the Department of Defense.

But medical professionals believe the best way to alleviate the stress on the healthcare systems is for people to get vaccinated

"About 78 percent of patients in our ICUs remain unvaccinated and of those, 81 percent of patients in the ICU were unvaccinated and on ventilators," Claeys said. "So we are dealing with a serious situation."