Opelousas General adapts as COVID-19 crisis continues to overwhelm Louisiana hospitals

Coronavirus

(KLFY)- The latest surge is overwhelming Acadiana hospitals.

Right now, the state currently has the nation’s highest case rate and hospitalization levels in the country.

The state has nearly 29 hundred COVID positive patients hospitalized.

At Opelousas General Health System, they are seeing a revolving door of patients, giving them little time to catch up.

Tim Marks, Chief Population Officer, says, “On the medical side, PCU, and critical care, we are at capacity.”

Currently the hospital average about 40 patients a day.

Monday morning, they saw 34 COVID positive patients, only three are vaccinated.

Of the 34, Marks says 13 are in the ICU, eight are on ventilators.

“The ICU is full. We are boarding patients in the ER,” adds Marks.

Marks tells News Ten the average age presenting in the hospital is much younger than in previous surges.

Marks continues, “The average is 60 years old. We are seeing several 18-29 and 30-59 year olds. We had not see much before.”

While he says they have not paused outpatient surgeries, he explains it is a day to day, case by case decision.

“The hard part is navigating the cases. We are not able to do what we did before. If a case requires an inpatient bed, surgeons are having to make decisions about what case to take,” explains Marks.

Marks says hospital staffing is struggling to keep up with this pandemic and new wave.

He says there is simply not enough staffing for the influx of patients.

Marks explains, “Staff is working overtime. Many are working in areas with patients when they are typically not assigned that area. We have brought in contract staff but it is nowhere near enough to meet needs.”

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