LAFAYETTE — A spike in COVID-19 cases is causing longer wait times in walk-in clinics and emergency rooms.
One Lafayette woman said she waited with her father for more than seven hours last Tuesday. She told KATC his doctor told him to go to a emergency room due to his high blood sugar.
"I could've lost my dad that day," Brooke Richard said.
Richard says her father has stage 3 kidney disease. According to her, his blood sugar was over 500 that day. High blood sugar can result in kidney failure.
"Anything over 300, from what I'm reading, is an emergency," Richard added.
Richard's father was hospitalized for several days.
Her story is echoed by others who shared their recent experiences on social media. Many told KATC similar stories about long wait times in walk-in clinics and emergency rooms.
Last week Our Lady of Lourdes announced they were canceling elective surgeries because of a lack of beds. The impact of that announcement is now being felt by many.
One woman posted on Facebook that her husband's surgery to remove a mass was canceled.
"This is life saving issues that they are putting on the back burner," Richard said.
Richard explained that a family friend was scheduled to have a kidney transplant that has also been canceled. She told KATC her father returned home on Friday and is doing better.
On Monday, several speakers with Governor Edwards talked about the struggle hospitals have seen during the surge of cases. Dr. Phyllis Mason, Chief Medical Officer, Natchitoches Regional Medical Center spoke about how that staff at her hospital are strained and demoralized.
During the press conference she stated that more and more people have become comfortable with returning to the hospital which is straining capacity now that COVID patients are coming back in. "It is creating a bottleneck." she said. "We are holding them in the emergency room for 2 to 4 days before we can get them a bed. Before we can transfer them anywhere."
She says that now this strain is causing a health safety problem. "We are not able to provide routine care to non-COVID patients. Other physicians echoed the same situations in hospitals across the state.
Residents in Acadiana shared their stories of this "bottle-neck" experience. Read other responses on our post below.