Federal assistance team arrives at Louisiana hospital to help with an influx of Covid-19 patients

Federal assistance team arrives at Louisiana hospital to help with an influx of Covid-19 patients

A 33-member federal Disaster Medical Assistance Team arrived Monday at a major Louisiana hospital to provide support for what the hospital called “the highest volume of Covid-19 patients the region has experienced thus far due to the Delta variant.”

Our Lady of the Lake in Baton Rouge said an average of one infected patient is being admitted every hour. The hospital was treating 155 Covid-19 patients, with about one third of them in the intensive care unit, according to a statement from the hospital.

The 988-bed hospital says the vast majority of their Covid-19 patients are unvaccinated and they are seeing a “rapid influx” of patients under the age of 50. The hospital has already paused admission of non-urgent patients to preserve resources for Covid-19 patients.

“We are pleased to welcome national disaster medical professionals to partner with our teams and support the ongoing surge of patients we are experiencing,” Stephanie Manson, chief operating officer at Our Lady of the Lake, said in the statement.

“With their presence, we are able to admit patients faster, open an additional intensive care unit and provide assistance to our existing Covid-19 units.”

According to at Our Lady of the Lake spokesperson Ryan Cross, the DMAT team consists of two physicians, three mid-level providers, seven nurses, 11 paramedics, one respiratory therapist, two pharmacists, one mental health specialist and six administrative support specialists.

“Their team will be here for one month and will allow us to open six additional [Covid-19] ICU beds and provide clinical assistance to our existing [Covid-19] units,” Cross said in an email.

Cross said the hospital sent requests to the state and federal government for staff.

The hospital has requested 106 registered nurses, 17 certified nursing assistants, 17 clerical staff and 17 respiratory therapists from the state, Cross said.

The entire state is grappling with a surge in Covid-19 cases.

With only 36.8% of Louisiana’s population fully vaccinated, the state saw the country’s highest case rate per 100,000 people over the past week at 573.3 cases, federal health data shows.

The state’s seven-day death rate per 100,000 people is 1.7, the third-highest in the nation, with Nevada being the highest and Arkansas in second, according to data published Friday.

Over the past week, Louisiana had 3.8% of total US Covid-19 cases despite having only 1.4% of the national population, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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