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Sparrow Hospital Allows Visitors For Patients With COVID-19

Sparrow Health System
A family member visits a loved one recovering from COVID-19 at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Mich.

Sparrow Hospital in Lansing is allowing patients recovering from COVID-19 to receive visitors. 


The action is partly thanks to the advocacy of Doctor Mindy Lane. Dr. Lane is the Chair of the Surgery Department at Sparrow Hospital.


She said last week she was able to witness the healing power a loved one visiting a patient recovering from COVID-19 can have.


“A daughter came in and she sat by her mom's bedside, and she massaged her hands and painted her nails. It was so uplifting for all of the staff to be able to see that and see how settled her mother was,” Dr. Lane explained.


Over the last nine months, Dr. Lane said, health care providers at Sparrow have been focused on outcomes and how to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection in the hospital and the best way to do that was to prevent loved ones from visiting those recovering from coronavirus.


"After ten months we have great resources as far as staff and beds and anesthesia equipment, and personal protection equipment," she added. "We've had nine months to practice. Our numbers have been very stable and it was just the right time for us to make that step to making it safe for families to visit their loved ones." 

Throughout the pandemic, nurses have been responsible for facilitating video calls with patients and their loved ones. While Dr. Lane said this allowed patients to connect with family, it didn't have the same effect as in-person visits have had on patients thus far.

"One of the nurse liaisons told me that as soon as you walk in the room, there's a settling feeling and these are not things that they really experienced to anywhere near that degree when they were facilitating calls through digital media," she added. 

So far, Dr. Lane said they have noticed patients improving when they are physically near their loved ones. 

"We have even seen vital signs change, the heart rate slows, the breathing slows, patients are less agitated," she added. "And those are all the things that you need to recover. So we do think that this definitely has a potential to save lives, shorten the recovery process." 

Dr. Lane said every visitor is screened for COVID-19 symptoms and is taught how to use a breathing device that is put over their head connected to oxygen known as a Powered Air Purifying Respirator. The visitor is escorted to a patient's room and is allowed up to one hour to visit with them.


As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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