April 25th 2020 - Dr. Fred Buckhold, Dr. Robert Poirier, Dr. James Wedner, & Dr. Tim Johnson

Health Matters
Friday, April 24th
Dr. FRED BUCKHOLD, SLU Care general internist at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital.  Dr. Buckhold addresses President Trump's question about using light or UV therapy to help COVID patients...and about investigating how disinfectants might be used to kill the virus.  President Trump now says he was being sarcastic in those questions.  Dr. Buckhold also addresses new preliminary studies finding hydroxychloroquine and Remdesivir do not do much to improve patients with coronavirus.  Dr. Buckhold also addresses Franklin County lifting restrictions for some businesses and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker requiring all residents over 2 years of age to wear a mask when out in public starting May 1st.  Bloodclotting problems in coronavirus patients.  And concerns coronavirus and the flu may both be here at the same time this winter. 

Dr.  ROBERT POIRIER, emergency medicine physician at Washington University School of Medicine and director of the Emergency Department at Barnes Jewish Hospital.  ER visits are down about 25-30 percent at Barnes Jewish Hospital.  Dr. Poirier says that's because many people are afraid to go to the ER -- fearing they may pick up coronavirus.  But he says that's not true -- and explains the many ways non-COVID patients are separated and protected from COVID-19 patients. What you need to know before you go to the ER.  Dr. Poirier says it is dangerous to avoid the ER if you are having true life threatening emergent problems like stroke or heart attack.  HEATHER JOLLY is administrative director of nursing operations at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital.  She says they have found a way to sanitize those essential N-95 masks in mass quantities.  They now have a U-V light trailer -- donated to them by PASCO -- which can now sanitize about 180 masks every ten minutes.  They hope to do more than a thousand in a day. 

Dr. JAMES WEDNER, professor of medicine and director of the Asthma and Allergy Center at Washington University School of Medicine.  Asthma is absent among top COVID-19 risk factors.  That's despite warnings that asthmatics were at higher risk of getting more serious complications from coronavirus.  Why is that?  What should asthmatics be doing to protect themselves? Dr. Wedner implores asthmatics to keep taking their steroid medicines.  How can you tell the difference between allergy and coronavirus symptoms?

Dr. TIM JOHNSON, System VP of Medical Group and Population Health Operations for SSM Health.  Dr. Johnson says don't forget about your regular health care needs during this time of COVID-19.  SSM Health is offering care to all patients for their regular health conditions through video visits with their doctors.  Dr. Johnson says you can go to ssmhealth.com to set up a visit or call your doctor's office. He says telehealth is changing the face of healthcare today.  It's also changing the way doctors care for patients.