During the last seven days, Louisiana ranks behind solely Mississippi and Florida with regards to circumstances of COVID-19 per capita. Hospitals throughout the state are merely full. Not solely are ICUs full, however common beds are full, pediatric wards are full, emergency rooms are full. Sufferers are already being handled in hallways, in tents, and in parking areas became makeshift extensions. Underneath regular circumstances, many hospital sufferers would already be on their strategy to rooms in safer areas, however with the explosion of delta variant circumstances throughout the Southeast, these rooms are already full. Whether or not it’s Louisiana or Mississippi, inland to Arkansas, or west to Texas, there merely is nowhere to shift sufferers in a healthcare system dealing with report demand for beds.
That implies that hospitals—and the already exhausted and lengthy overworked nurses, docs, and EMTs—haven’t any alternative however to remain the place they’re. Everybody else might, and may, be leaving. However these well being care professionals have to stick with their sufferers and hope that preparations for sustaining energy, water, and provides are satisfactory within the face of a strong storm.
Throughout Katrina, each hospitals and prolonged care amenities in and round New Orleans discovered themselves wanting energy, wanting medicines, and dealing with rising floodwaters. This generated quite a few horror tales, like that at Memorial Medical Center, the place the query of whether or not the docs current have been heroes, murderers, or each nonetheless stays tough to resolve.
In 2017, Affected person Security and High quality Healthcare revealed “Five Lessons Learned from Katrina.” Sadly, a kind of classes was that evacuations ought to have been extra in depth—and that merely doesn’t appear attainable on this case. One other of these classes is that hospitals want to have the ability to shift sufferers and assets between them, however the pandemic overflow additionally makes that rather a lot much less attainable. Whether or not the opposite classes—on maintaining provide traces open and sustaining communications—are helpful will rely upon how effectively every facility has practiced the ultimate step: drills and making ready upfront.
One factor is excessively clear: Anybody who’s within the space and may depart, ought to depart. Anybody within the space who can’t depart ought to search shelter. And everybody ought to completely take each step attainable to keep away from each COVID-19 and any accidents.
Within the wake of Ida, there shall be injury from devastating winds. There shall be flooding from a large storm surge. There shall be flash floods, downed timber, energy failures, blocked roads, and intensely tough situations from the mixture of wind, surge, and heavy rains. The scenario goes to be each extraordinarily tough and terribly harmful. And even those that usually shrug all that off needs to be operating proper now, as a result of what there’ll not be is any hospital beds.
For those who can get out, get out. Accomplish that safely, however do it now, as a result of time is operating out rapidly.