Hospital tells ER patients beds are full; diverts patients to other campuses

Lafayette Parish

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) A surge of COVID-19 cases is putting a strain on local hospitals. Some people entering the emergency room are even being redirected elsewhere.

A woman whose mother went to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital was told all beds and the hospital were full.

“The lady at the reception desk in the ER was saying that the hospital was basically full and the ER beds are full,” stated the woman who chooses to remain anonymous.

When her mother called the doctor because of chest pain, the recommendation was she go to the emergency room. She was admitted, but she heard others after her being diverted to other hospitals.

According to Our Lady of Lourdes, that Monday morning, its main campus was full, but their Heart Hospital and Women and Children’s Hospital was not.

“It’s a chessboard. The moves are getting tight, but we are not out moves yet,” explained Elisabeth Arnold, Sr. director of marketing and communications for Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center.

The number of covid positive patients have quadrupled at Lourdes in just two weeks. On November 15, they only had 13 patients. Now they have 51. It’s still below the peak of 82 which was seen in summer, but that was before the mask mandate, and winter brings additional concerns.

“With the winter months. People being indoor in spaces,” Arnold said. “You compound that with potential flu. There are more factors that weigh into our concern, I think than July, and we really saw some high numbers in July.”

The end of the second wave directly correlated to Fourth of July gatherings, and the worry is Thanksgiving then Christmas celebrations will push percent positivity up and hospitals to their limit.

“It’s bound to happen eventually. I don’t think our nurses and our doctors can go at the pace they’re going without them becoming sick, and our medical workforce is probably shrinking at this point and our need is growing. I think there’s going to be natural friction there,” stated the woman reporting the hospital was full.

Both Oschner Lafayette General and Our Lady of Lourdes say coronavirus cases are increasing, but ICU beds are still available, just not in every emergency room all the time.

Hospitals are strongly urging the public to mask, wash hands frequently, and follow isolation orders. They say that’s how we exited the second wave, and they say despite the fatigue that’s our only way out of wave three without a vaccine.

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