UI Health Care admits patient with COVID-19 in ‘critical condition’

In an email sent to UI Health Care faculty and staff, CEO Suresh Gunasekaran alerted hospital employees of the treatment of a COVID-19 patient.


Katie Goodale

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is seen on Sept. 17, 2018.

Alexandra Skores, News Editor

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics CEO Suresh Gunasekaran alerted employees in an email Wednesday morning of the admittance of a COVID-19 patient in “critical condition.”

According to the email, all proper procedures and precautions were followed during the admission process and staff members were properly protected so the patient did not come in contact with anyone who was not properly protected.

“We were alerted in advance of the patient’s arrival and COVID-19 diagnosis,” he wrote.

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The patient remains in critical condition and will remain in isolation for the duration of treatment to keep team members and other patients safe, the email said.

In an email to the DI, UIHC Media Relations Communications Specialist Molly Rossiter said that the hospital is maintaining its same level of care.

“We will take appropriate steps, which may include additional visitor restrictions and screening of those who enter the hospital,” the email said. “Currently, visitors are limited to two adults (age 18 and older) per patient in most circumstances.”

The email also stated that the hospital was aware of the patient’s illness before the person arrived at the hospital.

“We were aware of this patient’s illness before they arrived at the hospital so our care team had the appropriate measures in place,” the email said. “We continue to follow the advice of the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Iowa Department of Public Health, and our clinical experts.”

Wednesday morning, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.

Gunasekaran plans to share more information with UIHC staff at an employee forum. Rossiter confirmed that there has been no messaging about limiting hospital employees from coming to work.

“As I’ve mentioned before, your safety and the safety of our patients are our top priorities,” he said. “We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure your safety and meet the needs of those we serve.”

The announcement coincides with a rising number of presumptive positive novel coronavirus cases in Johnson County. The total reached 12 among individuals who traveled on the same Egypt cruise, state health officials confirmed Tuesday. There are currently 13 presumptive positive cases in Iowa and 27 cases pending, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.