Dr. Phillip Coule serves as the Vice President and chief medical officer for Augusta University Health System, and associate dean for Clinical Affairs for the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. Coule is an expert in emergency medicine, disaster preparedness and mass casualty triage, and he serves as Medical Director for AirLife Georgia’s helicopter transport service and is on the boards of the National Disaster Life Support Foundation. He is also director of the hospital Emergency Communications Center and helps coordinate the hospital’s emergency response during disasters and mass casualty events. Coule received his medical degree from MCG, where he also completed his residency in Emergency Medicine. He also earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee.
Areas of Expertise (6)
Mass Casualty Triage
Hospital Quality and Safety
Media Appearances (12)
First vaping related lung injury hits Augusta
We sat down with Dr. Phillip Coule, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. He said, “Those that are vaping need to know that vaping is not safe and this could happen to any one of them tomorrow.” The nationwide vaping epidemic has hit home. AU’s top doctor wants to let people know the crisis is serious, even in the CSRA. “We don’t know exactly what is happening in these cases,” he said of the injuries. “Although a large number of them are associated with illicit or not manufactured products being vaped.” Dr. Coule said the issue surrounds patients with unexplained respiratory or lung failure. Hundreds of cases have popped up across the country that health experts believe are due to vape pens filled with THC, CBD oils or some other chemical. He added the one incident locally is just the tip of the iceberg...
Urgent Care and Prompt Care see long lines due to Omicron tests
Augusta University Health's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Phillip Coule says, “If you’re not exposed and if you don’t have symptoms, don’t go get tested.” If you are having symptoms, however, you should go get tested. Dr. Coule says you might also not even need a test if you're having cold-like symptoms right now. He says you can treat it as a "presumptive positive."
Hospitals still full but omicron surge may have peaked in Augusta, doctor says
Augusta Chronicle print
Even as he sees COVID-19 cases rising at AU Medical Center and other hospitals across Augusta and Aiken, Dr. Phillip Coule feels the crest of the omicron wave might be behind them. According to the latest data, "we're clearly over the peak," said the chief medical officer for AU Health System. New cases in Richmond County dropped 22% over the previous week, McDuffie dipped 24% and Georgia decreased 20% while new cases rose 32% in Aiken County, 11% in Columbia County and 89% in Burke County, and 11% in South Carolina, according to an analysis by the Augusta Chronicle. Some areas around Augusta may actually be a little further behind in terms of reaching their peak, Coule said.
Working through COVID variants, including STEALTH
As the fight against COVID continues, the latest “variant” of concern and being tracked across the globe is the Stealth variant. South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control or DHEC, has confirmed 2 cases of this variant have been detected in the Palmetto State. According to health experts, the STEALTH variant is like a little sister of what we know as the OMICRON variant and is why it does not have its own “Greek Name”. Dr. Phillip Coule Vice President and Chief Medical officer at AU Health says, “The STEALTH variant has a slight mutation to OMICRON that can make it harder to pick up on some testing that uses this now mutated genetic sequence to determine infection in a patient.”
In many rural areas, delta variant COVID-19 surge infected double the number of people
Augusta Chronicle print
As the delta variant took off last summer across the U.S., it was the rural areas with low vaccination rates that were hit the hardest, researchers at Augusta University said. More than 82% of those counties were rural, which likely compounds the problem, said Dr. Neil J. MacKinnon, AU's provost. "Vaccination rates are lower in rural America. And on top of that they also have reduced capacity to deal with it," he said, in terms of health care resources.
Rural parts of Georgia — where vaccination rates were low — got hit harder by COVID-19's delta wave
Georgia Public Broadcasting tv
The delta variant of the coronavirus hospitalized and killed far more people in rural parts of Georgia than in urban areas, according to a study published Feb. 10, 2022, in JAMA Open Network. The University of Cincinnati in collaboration with Augusta University examined how the third wave of COVID-19 — led by the fast-spreading delta variant — swept across the United States in the summer of 2021. Using data from July 1 to Aug. 31, 2021, researchers showed further evidence for what leading health experts, including the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, had already warned.
AU Health offers preventive antibody treatment against COVID
Augusta University Health is offering a new COVID prevention treatment for high-risk patients. It’s the only medical facility in the region to offer Evusheld, which is administered in two shots, one immediately after the other. AU Health says it’s ideal for the 3 percent of the people in the United States who are moderately to severely immunocompromised. It’s also good for people who are allergic to the COVID vaccine, according to Dr. Phillip Coule, chief medical officer and vice president of AU Health. Evusheld recently received emergency authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. It consists of two types of manufactured antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19.
AU Health offering game-changing COVID-19 treatment
A new drug to fight COVID-19 for those with weakened immune systems hit pharmacy shelves late last year. It’s called Evusheld and it’s a preventative monoclonal antibody treatment changing the course for COVID-19 treatments with its effects lasting for months. “We have had people come from far away to get this because we are the only center in the region that is doing it,” says Augusta University Health's vice president and chief medical officer Dr. Phillip Coule. Many physicians and healthcare providers have remarked the treatment as game-changing, due to how it works in the body.
Local hospitals catch up on elective surgeries as COVID cases decline
Local hospitals say it’s full steam ahead to get back on track with elective surgeries. As doctors work through two years of backlogs, they say another challenge can be getting new patients in. We talked to one local couple waiting for surgery when every minute counts. “My reaction was he kept saying malignant, and I was sitting there listening, and suddenly, I realized malignant? Benign is best, oh this isn’t good,” said Mandy Slater, Gary’s wife.
What does the spike in COVID cases mean for the CSRA?
The Department of Health says COVID deaths in Georgia are up 55 percent. In total numbers, it’s nothing like what we saw early in the pandemic. Augusta University tells us that 19 people are hospitalized with COVID, and four are in the ICU. We spoke with the hospital to get a snapshot of what these numbers mean. Doctors say the severity of this spike is not as bad as before. Dr. Phillip Coule with AU Health has been tracking COVID since the start.
Local health expert discusses new COVID numbers
COVID infections are on the rise in at least 40 states, including Georgia, with the highly transmissible BA.5 variant dominating the surge. Richmond County ranks number 32 out of 161 counties for the highest rate of COVID cases. We look at why cases are on the rise. “We’re seeing that even fully vaccinated and boosted people are also getting COVID,” says Chief Medical Officer Dr. Phillip Coule for Augusta University Medical Center.
Local health expert shares what you need to know about monkeypox
Augusta University Health confirmed our area’s first case of monkeypox Monday. While health officials say there’s not a local outbreak, the state of Georgia is ranked 5th in the nation for cases. The CDC says Georgia has over 950 cases. South Carolina is ranked 26th with over 60.
Mass Casualty Triage: An Evaluation of the Science and Refinement of a National GuidelineSociety for Disaster Medicine and Public Health
E. Brooke Lerner, David C. Cone, Eric S. Weinstein, Richard B. Schwartz...
2013 Mass casualty triage is the process of prioritizing multiple victims when resources are not sufficient to treat everyone immediately. No national guideline for mass casualty triage exists in the United States. The lack of a national guideline has resulted in variability in triage processes, tags, and nomenclature...
Comparison of Two Packable Hemostatic Gauze Dressings in a Porcine Hemorrhage ModelPrehospital Emergecy Care
Richard Bruce Schwartz , MD, Bradford Zahner Reynolds , MD, Stephen A. Shiver , MD, E. Brooke Lerner , PhD, Eric Mark Greenfield , DO, Ricaurte A. Solis , DO, Nicholas A. Kimpel , DO, Phillip L. Coule , MD & John G. McManus , MD
2011 Uncontrolled hemorrhage remains the primary cause of preventable battlefield mortality and a significant cause of domestic civilian mortality. Rapid hemorrhage control is crucial for survival. ChitoGauze and Combat Gauze are commercially available products marketed for rapid hemorrhage control...
Analysis of Vaccination Rates and New COVID-19 Infections by US County, July-August 2021JAMA Network
Dr. Phillip Coule, Dr. Neil MacKinnon, Dr. Diego Cuadros, F. DeWolfe Miller, Dr. Susanne Awad
There is substantial variation in the spatial distribution of COVID-19 vaccination rates in the United States. We conducted an ecological data visualization analysis to assess the association of the heterogeneous distribution of vaccination coverage with the dynamics of COVID-19 during the third wave of the pandemic in the US.
Association Between Vaccination Coverage Disparity and the Dynamics of the COVID-19 Delta and Omicron Waves in the USFrontiers in Medicine
Neil MacKinnon, Phillip Coule, Diego Cuadros, Claudia M. Moreno, Godfrey Musuka
The US recently suffered the fourth and most severe wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. This wave was driven by the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron, a highly transmissible variant that infected even vaccinated people. Vaccination coverage disparities have played an important role in shaping the epidemic dynamics. Analyzing the epidemiological impact of this uneven vaccination coverage is essential to understand local differences in the spread and outcomes of the Omicron wave. Therefore, the objective of this study was to quantify the impact of vaccination coverage disparity in the US in the dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic during the third and fourth waves of the pandemic driven by the Delta and Omicron variants.