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UI hospital using virtual technology to treat virus patients

April 3, 2020 GMT

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics reported Friday that it has successfully treated dozens of COVID-19 patients through a program that allows them to stay in their homes while they recover.

Doctors use virtual technology to check daily on patients who have been diagnosed with the disease, freeing up the hospital for the small percentage of those who need more intensive care.

So far, 35 patients in the program have recovered while only three have needed to be admitted to the hospital, said UIHC chief medical officer Theresa Brennan. Another 38 are still being monitored through the program.

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Brennan said she was going public with the program’s success in the hope that other hospitals follow suit, potentially preventing them from being overwhelmed with patients. One key lesson, she said, was that doctors often need to encourage patients to stay hydrated because they get a bad taste in their mouth and don’t want to eat and drink.