New Orleans (AP) —Louisiana hospitals are already full of patients due to the latest coronavirus surge and are preparing for a strong Category 4 hurricane that is expected to land on Sunday.
Jennifer Avegno, New Orleans Chief Health Officer, said: She called on the residents to “prepare for both.”
Hurricane Aida is expected to crash into the state late Sunday along the coast of Louisiana. Strong winds up to 130 mph (209 kph) are expected to be Category 4 strength at landing. The storm occurs when the hospital and its intensive care unit are already filled with patients from the fourth surge of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was caused by the highly contagious delta mutations and low vaccination rates throughout the state.
The daily tally of new cases went from hundreds a day to the end of July, through most of the spring and early summer, to thousands a day. Hospitalization peaked at less than about 2,000 in the last three surges across the state. However, that number peaked at over 3,000 in August. The number reported on Saturday was close to 2,700, which was still enough to stress the hospital.
Governor John Bel Edwards said evacuation of hospitals in threatened areas is usually considered in other scenarios, but COVID-19 patients bed in Louisiana and elsewhere. It’s unrealistic because it fills in.
“It’s impossible. We don’t have a place to bring those patients. It’s neither inside nor outside the state,” Edwards explained.
Oxner Health officials, who run the state’s largest hospital network, considered evacuating some of the facilities near the coast on Saturday, given how packed other hospitals are in the network. He said it was impossible. About 15 of their hospitals are located in areas that may be affected by Ida. However, they evacuated some individual patients with specific medical needs from smaller hospitals in more rural areas to larger facilities.
Mike Hühlfeld, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Oxner Health, said:
But hospital chains say they feel it is as ready as possible in other ways. Hulefeld said three days ago that he had ordered 10 days’ worth of equipment from a facility in a potentially affected area of Ida and that everything had arrived. Each facility has a tested backup power supply and an on-site backup fuel truck. Many of their hospitals also have wells in case tap water runs out.
“We are as ready as we can,” said Hulefeld.
Doctor Jeff Elder, who is also the medical director of emergency management at LCMC Health, said six hospitals in the system would go into blockade mode on Sunday morning. The staff, who were supposed to stay in the hospital during the storm, came and slept in the hospital on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
The elder said that one of the first things hospitals do when a storm hits is to discharge patients who can be discharged. However, due to the pandemic, the burden on the patient is higher than usual and cannot be reduced so much. But he said the hospitals in the system are much more robust since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
“We have learned a lot since 2005,” he said. An important part of the infrastructure has been raised to prevent flooding. For example, at the University Medical Center in New Orleans, built after Katrina, generators are raised, diesel supplies are protected, and there is no service needed on the ground floor, so even if the floods are so high, they are needed. Nothing is lost.
Every hospital in the system has a backup power source for the generator, the elder said. He also emphasized that communication between hospitals within the hospital system and with governments at various levels is much better.
Follow Santana on Twitter @ ruskygal.
Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
A Louisiana hospital full of virus patients awaits Aida | Nationwide
Source link A Louisiana hospital full of virus patients awaits Aida | Nationwide