Southern Lousiana's hospitals, already packed with coronavirus patients from a 4th surge of the virus, were dealing Sunday with different situation — the howling Category 4 hurricane pounding the coast.
“Once again we find ourselves dealing with a earthy catastrophe successful the midst of a pandemic,” said Jennifer Avegno, the apical wellness authoritative for New Orleans.
Lady of the Sea General Hospital successful Lafourche Parish, adjacent wherever Ida made landfall, reported extended extortion damage. “All patients and unit are good astatine this clip without injury; although, our infirmary has sustained important damage," infirmary CEO Karen Collins said successful a connection relayed via Facebook. The hospital's telephone strategy was down.
The extortion of Lady of the Sea Hospital was shattered into pieces arsenic Hurricane Ida moved done Galliano, La.
“Once it is harmless to bash truthful they volition evacuate their tiny fig of patients,” authorities wellness section spokeswoman Aly Neel said successful an email. Details connected the fig of patients progressive were not instantly available.
Ida struck as hospitals and their intensive attraction units were filled with patients from the 4th surge of the COVID-19 pandemic, sparked by the highly contagious delta variant and debased vaccination rates crossed Louisiana.
Daily tallies of caller cases successful Louisiana went from a fewer 100 a time done overmuch of the outpouring and aboriginal summertime to thousands a time by precocious July. Gov. John Bel Edwards told The Associated Press connected Sunday that more than 2,400 COVID-19 patients are successful Louisiana hospitals, saying the authorities was successful a “very unsafe spot with our hospitals."
The politician besides said 22 nursing homes and 18 assisted surviving facilities person been evacuated though evacuating the largest hospitals was not an enactment due to the fact that determination simply aren't different places to nonstop them. Anticipating that powerfulness could beryllium retired for weeks successful places, Edwards said a large absorption volition beryllium connected making definite determination is capable generator powerfulness and h2o astatine hospitals truthful they tin support up with captious diligent needs specified arsenic providing oxygen oregon powering ventilators.
“I hatred to accidental it this way, but we person a batch of radical connected ventilators contiguous and they don’t enactment without electricity,” helium said.
Officials astatine Ochsner Health, which runs the largest infirmary web successful Louisiana, said astir 15 of the network's hospitals are successful areas perchance affected by Ida. The web evacuated immoderate patients with peculiar aesculapian needs from small, agrarian hospitals to larger facilities.
Warner Thomas, president and CEO of Ochsner Health, said Sunday that the strategy decided preemptively to evacuate a smaller infirmary successful St. Charles Parish erstwhile the storm’s way shifted a spot east.
He said 35 patients were moved to different hospitals successful the portion implicit a small little than 3 hours. When it comes to powerfulness astatine their facilities, Mike Hulefeld said, they are successful beauteous bully shape. Three of their facilities successful areas affected by Ida were moved to generator powerfulness successful anticipation of losing metropolis power.
Hulefeld said the infirmary web ordered 10 days of supplies for facilities successful areas that mightiness beryllium affected by Ida, and everything arrived Saturday. Each installation has backup powerfulness that was tested and a backup substance motortruck on-site. Many of the chain’s hospitals besides person h2o wells successful lawsuit metropolis h2o goes out.
With radical evacuating and perchance going to enactment with relatives oregon successful shelters, aesculapian officials said they are acrophobic the hurricane could construe into much coronavirus infections successful coming days conscionable arsenic hospitalization numbers are going down. Thomas said the infirmary strategy has seen a diminution successful astir 200 coronavirus patients implicit the past week crossed each their facilities.
Officials said Sunday they person been making the rounds and talking to unit successful the hospitals — often referred to arsenic the “A Team” due to the fact that they’re the ones that spell into lockdown erstwhile a hurricane arrives and enactment until the tempest passes and they tin beryllium relieved. The hurricane comes connected apical of the twelvemonth and a fractional agelong pandemic that has been an astonishing accent connected wellness attraction workers, and galore are bittersweet and frustrated.
“Folks recognize they got a occupation to do. There are radical who request to beryllium cared for,” Thomas said. “But it does instrumentality a toll.”
Dr. Jeff Elder, aesculapian manager for exigency absorption astatine LCMC Health, said the system’s six hospitals went into lockdown mode Sunday. Employees were going to enactment astatine the hospitals for the duration of the tempest arrived Saturday and aboriginal Sunday and would slumber there.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards discusses the challenges presented by COVID-19 successful an already hard concern presented by Hurricane Ida.
Elder said 1 of the archetypal things their hospitals bash erstwhile storms get is discharge patients who are capable to leave. However, the diligent load is precocious due to the fact that of the pandemic truthful they’re not capable to trim by much. He said the hospitals successful the strategy are much robust since 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.
“We’ve learned a batch since 2005,” helium said. Key pieces of infrastructure are present raised to support them retired of flooding. For example, astatine University Medical Center successful New Orleans, which was built aft Katrina, the generator is raised, diesel supplies are protected and the archetypal level doesn’t person indispensable services truthful adjacent if flood waters get that precocious thing indispensable is lost.
All hospitals successful the strategy person generator backup power, Elder said. He besides stressed that connection is present overmuch amended betwixt hospitals successful the infirmary strategy arsenic good arsenic with assorted levels of government.