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With more treatments, procedures being offered, health care providers stepping up safety measures

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Health care providers like Mayo Clinic Health System and Gundersen Health System have recently started to roll out more procedures and treatment opportunities for patients.

The move is helping patients like Chad Meacham of Warrens get his life back to normal.

In February, Meacham slipped on ice and ruptured a disc in his vertebrae causing a pinched nerve.

“It felt like somebody was electrocuting me all the time,” said Meacham. “The pain shot all the way down into my arm. My fingertips were numb. My muscles were going crazy.” 

Meacham's injury came right at the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic when hospitals and clinics shut their doors for any procedure or treatment opportunities to make room for a potential spike of COVID-19 patients.

"He was having so much pain..." said Dr. Hsu-Hsien Shelly Lwu, Mayo Clinic Health System. "I think if it wasn’t for COVID-19, we would’ve been able to get him in a lot sooner."

The avid fisherman underwent surgery in April to repair the ruptured disc. Mayo Clinic Health System made preparations for his arrival.

“Even at the front door, they have their temperature taken," said Dr. Lwu. "When they are roomed by the nurse, again, she goes through screening questions. We talked about surgery, and before surgery could take place, we also sent him for the nasal swab to test for COVID-19."

On Tuesday, when Meacham went in for his post operation check-up, he was required to wear a mask and have his temperature taken before entering.

These protocols will now be mandatory for people like Meacham coming for services at Mayo Clinic Health System or Gundersen Health System.

Currently, both health care providers are continuing their visitor restrictions will limited exceptions.

Mike Beiermeister

WXOW Weekend Anchor and Reporter

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