Hurricane Ida Sets In As Louisiana Hospitals Are Full Of Covid Patients.

Hurricane Ida Sets In As Louisiana Hospitals Are Full Of Covid-19 Patients.

Lafourche Parish in the US state of Louisiana is near the place where Hurricane Ida made a very stormy landfall on Sunday 29 August 2021. The Lady of the Sea General Hospital in the area suffered extensive damage to its roof as its CEO Karen Collins was relieved to report there were no casualties among patients or staff. The state Health Department of Louisiana reported that this hospital would evacuate its patients once it was safe to do so.

Hurricane Ida Sets In As Louisiana Hospitals Are Full!

The Thibodaux Medical Centre is another Hospital in Lafourche Parish and it suffered generator damage due to the intensity of the Hurrican Ida.The Hurricane struck the state of Louisiana as thousands are still getting infected by the Delta variant of the Sars-COV-2 virus in a state which has one of the least rates of vaccinations in the United States. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards that 22 hospitals and another 18 makeshift centers known as assisted living facilities have been evacuated as the Hurricane continues to rage in his state.

The Governor mentioned the 2400 Covid-19 patients already admitted in hospitals across his state and many were on ventilators. Governor Edwards further said that in the event of electricity services expected to be affected for weeks, the emphasis was on providing generator supplies and water to hospitals so that ventilators can keep running for critical patients.

Hurricane Ida Sets In As Louisiana Hospitals Are Full Of Covid Patients.

Ochsner Health runs a chain of 15 hospitals in the state of Louisiana and most of these are in the path of the Hurricane. 35 patients from a smaller hospital in St. Charles Parish have been shifted to bigger hospitals. Another hospital in Raceland with 25 patients and one in Houma with 45 patients had suffered roof damage, some power disruption, and window shattering, and their patients had to be moved. Mike Hulefield from the Ochsner Health center said they had 10 days’ emergency supplies including generator fuel, food, medicines, and water.

Hospital authorities are, however, afraid that evacuations and emergency shifting to relatives’ places due to the Hurricane might result in an increase and resurge of cases of Covid-19 which had just begun to reduce. Ochsner CEO Warner Thomas appreciated the efforts of health workers who would go into lockdown with patients at his hospitals until the hurricane passed over.     

Dr. Jeff Elder, medical director for Emergency Services at LCMC Health, also said that the staff at the 6 medical Centres at LCMC would stay over until the storm had cleared. Dr. Elder admitted that normally recovering patients would be discharged during such a Hurricane but this time it was mostly not possible due to the large number of Covid-19 patients who were serious and could not be discharged at this stage. Dr. Elder also added that they had learned a lot about coping with Hurricanes since Katrina had lashed the United States back in 2005. The hospitals now had raised levels with generators and fuel kept at levels above possible flooding and emergency supplies, medicines, and food in the upper floors that would not be affected by flooding.

Learning has also progressed to a stage where hospitals are now able to communicate better among themselves as well as with Government officials.

Hurricane Ida, which made landfall in Louisiana on Sunday 29 August, began as a category 4 storm and then reduced to a category 3 storm by Sunday evening and further down to category 2 storm by midnight on Sunday. A total of 940,000 people in the state of Louisiana are without power. Roofs have been blown off the New Orleans Traffic court and Municipal court buildings.

It is a challenge for the people of Louisiana to face another disaster while the Covid pandemic continues to rage.                

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