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KSMU is dedicated to broadcasting critically important information as our community experiences the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, you'll find our ongoing coverage.

Mercy Springfield Sees An Increased Need For Ventilator Use By COVID-19 Patients


Mercy Springfield, like CoxHealth, is dealing with a surge of COVID-19 inpatients.

Mercy spokesperson, Sonya Kullmann, said the high during the last surge was 113 patients on December 28.  Last Sunday, they hit a peak of 137 COVID patients.  And she said they’re seeing younger patients who are getting sicker more quickly, and they don’t all have co-morbidities.  Mercy is also seeing an increased need for oxygen.

There’s also an increased need for ventilator use at Mercy.  Tuesday, there were 130 COVID-19 patients at Mercy Springfield, and 34 were in the ICU.  Thirty of them were on ventilators.  That compares to December 28 when Mercy had 32 in the ICU, and 12 were on ventilators. 

Kullmann said they have enough equipment since other hospitals in the Mercy system are sharing ventilators as southwest Missouri experiences a surge. 

According to Mercy, more than 95 percent of COVID-19 inpatients are unvaccinated.

But there’s good news.  Kullmann said they’re seeing an uptick of people getting vaccines at Mercy’s vaccination clinic.  They were seeing around 150 per day, but there were more than 250 scheduled appointments Monday, and around 50 people walk in each day without appointments.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.