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“Don’t be afraid to come to our ER,” says Kankakee Hospital CEO

"We’re seeing people dying at home. That is a travesty." said Riverside CEO Phil Kambic on Friday

During Friday’s community press conference for COVID-19, Phil Kambic, CEO of Riverside Healthcare, stressed the importance hospitals in the area have placed on containment procedures to protect COVID patients from non-COVID related emergency cases.

“People are staying at home, when they should be coming to our ERs.” Kambic said on Friday. “Whether it’s Riverside or AMITA, it doesn’t matter.  Come to our ERS if you have chest pains.  We have people who have come to our ER three and four, five days after having a heart attack.  They’re afraid to come because they don’t want to get COVID.  Well, the alternative is much, much worse.”

Kambic alerted the community Friday pre-triage tents had been installed to assist in lowering the possibility of cross contamination of patients at the facility.  The first negative pressure rooms to aid in those efforts had been installed over 52 days ago.

“You’re not going to be mixed with the other population of patients that are out there.  We’re seeing people dying at home.  That is a travesty.  We need people to come to the ER if you have symptoms of stroke, of chest pains, of shortness of breath.  Get to the ER, guys.”

Kambic added Friday the hospital has seen a decline in overall inpatients for COVID-19.

“We have ample bed space, we have ample ventilators, we have ample ICU beds.  Not saying that this is over, but from an inpatient standpoint, the positive news is we’re seeing a decline in that and the sickest of the sick coming into Riverside.” 

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