The Louisiana hospital system is struggling with a large number of COVID19 patients and now has to contend with another challenge: the storm. Hurricane Ida is expected to hit much of Louisiana on Sunday in a major hurricane. The storm is expected to escalate into at least a Category 3 hurricane, which means a minimum wind speed of 111 mph, meteorologists from The Weather Channel said.
Louisiana Hospitals Are Close To Capacity Due To The Massive Hurricane Hitting The State In The Wake Of The COVID19 Pandemic
The storm is approaching as the state has about 68% of all hospital beds, including 84% of intensive care beds, according to The Daily Advertiser’s hospital capacity schedule.
The delta variant of COVID19 has spread across the United States and Louisiana, depleting hospital resources. Insiders previously reported that many hospitals in the state are approaching “severe rejection” and have begun to postpone non-emergency procedures and transfer patients.
“We are rapidly approaching the point where we could have a major disruption in our health care delivery system,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said at a press conference in early August. “There are people whose treatment has been postponed to such an extent that for them it was not successful.”
New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell on Friday called for a mandatory evacuation of any area of New Orleans outside the city’s dam system but said the city has no plans to evacuate any hospitals and the patient will remain here.
Louisiana’s largest hospital, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, released a statement Friday that it has the necessary supplies, generators, and personnel to provide safe care for many of its patients during the storm.
“We take into account the high complexity of our COVID19 investigation and ensure that we are able to provide care to all the patients who need us,” said Stephanie Manson, CEO of Our Lady of the Lake. “We have the supplies, backup generators, and staffing plans to meet this goal.” Warner Thomas, President, and CEO of Health Systems Ochsner said in a press release on Friday that Ochsner hospitals are also ready to operate for more than a week.
Ochsner operates 40 hospitals across the state and currently serves 254 intensive care patients, 70% of whom are currently ventilated.
“All of our deliveries were ordered – 10 days of supplies, food, fuel, medicine, and medicine,” says Thomas. “We have been preparing for at least ten days.”
Ochsner Chief Operating Officer Mike Hulefeld says the only hurdle the hospital system faces when a storm approach is to provide housing for all staff while adhering to appropriate hospital health and safety protocols for the coronavirus.
Both Ohzner and Our Lady of the Lakes say their hospitals are working with state authorities to get additional resources if needed.
Despite the current stressful situation in hospitals, Ochsner leaders say they will take on everyone who needs help.
“Our options are limited, but if people come, we will take care of them,” says Thomas.