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Doctors get back to business, face new challenges during coronavidus pandemic

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – This week, Local 10 covered various angles of doctors’ efforts to establish a new normal amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Here are those stories:

Doctors take steps to help patients feel safe during visits

Visits to the Eye Center of Pembroke Pines now start in the parking lot.

“It’s definitely new for our patients. We’ve always had the atmosphere where ‘come here, you’re family,’ but now you can’t come in unless you have an appointment,” said Dr. Amanda Nanasy.

All patients are pre-screened and when it’s time for their appointment, they’re greeted outside the front door where their temperature is taken.

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Mobile medicine even more crucial amid ongoing pandemic

Ben Pumpian has always been an outdoorsman.

“My childhood was spent in the sun,” he said.

He’s now paying the price with an ongoing battle against skin cancer.

“If I had known I would live this long I would have taken better care of myself,” he said with a chuckle.

Pumpian, 96, was diagnosed with Basel Cell Carcinoma over a decade ago, and every time it comes back, it means another visit to the doctor’s office for treatment. That was until he discovered a mobile radiation van that could pull up right in his driveway.

Horizon Medical has been in the mobile radiation business for 20 years, but now, more than ever, this kind of door-to-door service is giving patients a welcomed alternative to office and hospital visits.

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Doctor: Time-sensitive diseases need immediate attention — even during coronavirus pandemic

Just a few weeks ago emergency departments at hospitals like Mt. Sinai on Miami Beach were bustling with activity.

“Emergency medicine in American means we’re taking care, we’re the safety net, so every day we’re very busy,” said Dr. David Farcy, Chairman of Emergency Medicine at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach.

Then the pandemic hit and many with serious emergent needs stayed away, possibly putting their health and their lives at risk.

“If you have a stroke, if you have a heart attack, if you wait too long on what’s called ‘time-sensitive’ disease, you can have a permanent disability or even worse, death,” said Farcy.

Farcy said the initial message of “please don’t overwhelm our healthcare system” is now changing as the initial threat subsides.

Hospitals like this around the country are prepared with new protocols to protect both patients and medical professionals with efforts including temperature checks, pre-screening questions, mask requirements and social distancing.

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Cleveland Clinic Florida begins new coronavirus clinical trials

Along with clinical trials into the use of convalescent plasma, Cleveland Clinic Florida is now launching two new clinical investigations that could potentially help COVID-19 patients.

The hospital is testing the use of Vitamin C and Zinc to see if they shorten the duration and type of symptoms, and prevent the hospitalizations of patients with the virus.

Participants, who must be 18 years of age or older, not pregnant and in good health, will be given the supplements within 48 hours of a positive test and then monitored for two weeks.

The goal is to enroll 520 participants in the study.

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