I'm so sorry to hear this. It is true that, in certain situations where the lungs are not absorbing oxygen properly despite maximal ventilator support, flipping the patient onto their abdomen has been shown to help. It improves the air flow through the lungs or something. A lot of the photos from Italy have shown ICU patients lying in that position. It is a lot harder for nursing staff to care for someone in this position and easier for various tubes and wires to get knocked out of place, which is why they want to transfer him to a place where the staff has more experience and where they may even have special hospital beds for this.
My employer, which initially said they didn't want donations, is now accepting cloth masks from citizens and giving them to patients who are immunocompromised or who have non-Covid respiratory infections to prevent the spread. I believe they are also making them available to first responders who need them. N95 masks are currently only available to those working in the hospital with patients who either have COVID 19 or are seriously ill and waiting for the test to come back.
A recent article published in the OB/GYN world recommends that we wear face masks every time we are close enough to a patient to touch them, even in outpatient settings, which is virtually every patient in this line of work. They also have guidelines for caring for labor patients and recommend that EVERY patient in labor wear a surgical face mask, symptoms or not. In addition, in an ideal world, this would be switched to an N95 mask during the pushing phase as most women are releasing a lot of droplets into the air as they breathe, etc. All caregivers should wear full protection at all times when around any pregnant patient with respiratory symptoms and, anytime there is a possibility of droplets from the patient entering the air, that should include an N95. Of course, there is no way any hospital has enough gear to actually do this, so caregivers are forced to choose what they or the patient will wear.
We had an update again today, a lot of it was technical nuts and bolts stuff not terribly interesting in general. We talked about predictions as to when things will peak and it turns out the research numbers geeks at my institution as well as another well-known medical center have collaborated to give us the data which is based on our particular hospital in our particular Midwestern city. They say that, if we are unable to flatten the curve (and it is too early to tell yet), then we will have our peak in mid May which will include about 4500 intubated patients in the system, 12,000 patients hospitalized overall. Our facility will not survive those numbers. If we maximize our measures to flatten the curve, then the disease will peak in early August with much lower numbers. Most likely, we'll be somewhere in between. So, best case scenario is that this drags on for the next 5 months or so.
We're also being organized into teams to cover the hospitals if needed. OB/GYN's would be put into a team lead by an internist and which would include nurse practitioners and residents. We would all make rounds together and the internist would make all the major decisions while we would be tasked with communicating with the patient's family and helping to coordinate the various ancillary services needed to care for these complex patients. That sounds doable. Since we are not seeing as many patient in the office these days, they're preparing some online courses to help us brush up on our internal medicine since most of us are rusty.