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 approach 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 document demand for beds.
That implies that hospitals—and the already exhausted and lengthy overworked nurses, docs, and EMTs—don’t have any selection however to remain the place they’re. Everybody else could, and will, 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 ample within the face of a strong storm.
Throughout Katrina, each hospitals and prolonged care amenities in and round New Orleans discovered themselves in need of energy, in need of medicines, and dealing with rising floodwaters. This generated plenty of horror tales, like that at Memorial Medical Center, the place the query of whether or not the docs current had 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 intensive—and that merely doesn’t appear potential 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 lots much less potential. Whether or not the opposite classes—on conserving provide traces open and sustaining communications—are helpful will depend 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 might depart, ought to depart. Anybody within the space who can’t depart ought to search shelter. And everybody ought to completely take each step potential to keep away from each COVID-19 and any accidents.
Within the wake of Ida, there might be harm from devastating winds. There might be flooding from a large storm surge. There might be flash floods, downed bushes, energy failures, blocked roads, and intensely tough circumstances from the mix 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 ought to be working proper now, as a result of what there’ll not be is any hospital beds.
In the event you can get out, get out. Achieve this safely, however do it now, as a result of time is working out shortly.