18:54 PM

LVH–Muhlenberg Celebrates a COVID-19 Victory


This week, cheers could be heard down the halls of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Muhlenberg. Staff gathered around the doorway and windows of a patient’s room to watch a milestone moment – the first extubation of a patient with COVID-19 at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN). Extubation is the last step in taking a patient off a ventilator – a machine that moves breathable air in and out of a person’s lungs.

Not just a statistic

Most patients are able to recover from COVID-19 at home without medical intervention, but for others the virus can be life-threatening. When blood oxygen levels drop causing hypoxia, a ventilator is necessary.

“We are constantly learning trends about critical patients in Italy, New York and even our own patients,” says Kristina Higgins, RN, LVH–Muhlenberg ICU Patient Care Coordinator. “We are gathering and sharing information to better our patients’ outcomes.”

“Yesterday, I announced this milestone on a call with health network leadership and there was applause,” says Bob Begliomini, PharmD, Senior Vice President LVHN, President LVH-Muhlenberg. “It inspires everyone to know there is hope.”

It takes a village

The ICU nurses, physicians and respiratory therapists provided medical care for the patient, but this success was a result of teamwork within the hospital and LVHN as a whole. From the people who deliver supplies to information technology support, there are countless individuals to thank. Two more COVID-19 patients at LVH­–Muhlenberg were extubated today, and the team is hopeful that they will see others recover. It’s a reminder that together we are #LVHNCOVIDSTRONG.

If you or someone you know has recovered from a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and you/they would like to share your/their story, submit photos, stories and words of encouragement to LVHN.org/stories.