How Hospitals Can Replicate a COVID-19 Recovery Unit

Bradley Sherman, MD, shares insight as to what goes into a respiratory ventilator recovery unit.

Earlier this month, Northwell Health debuted a pair of specialized, acute ventilator recovery units (AVRU) at its Glen Cove Hospital and Northern Westchester Hospital in efforts to aid New York City-based patients with coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) who are weaning off ventilator use.

The concept of these new units was to provide relief to the overburdened hospital staffs facing the brunt of the pandemic’s spread—as well as assist patients who have received tracheotomies while on ventilators and now require rehabilitation for severe muscle loss and physical weakness.

Combined, the hospitals have 17 beds in these new units designated to such patients, as the region has progressed to a phase of less strained and more informed emergency medicine practice during COVID-19.

In an interview with Contagion®, Bradley Sherman, MD, Medical Director and Chair of the Department of Medicine at Glen Cove Hospital, discussed how beneficial these units have proven, and how applicable they are to other hospitals now under a greater distress due to new and worsening COVID-19 cases.

“It’s a pretty labor-intensive staff unit, to really focus on aggressive weaning and physical therapy,” Sherman explained. “I do think for those people around the country who may be getting more of the wave as New York is coming down a little bit, I think there’s a need for these units, because it’s a way of decanting the ICUs.”