Across the nation, hospitals are being pushed to the limit because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the latest figures from the Department of Health and Human Services, on average, ICUs are 77 percent full. Here in Louisiana, ICU occupancy is about 75 percent.
That latest data shows both Our Lady of Lourdes and Ochsner Lafayette General are nearing capacity in their ICUs, each hospital with two ICU beds available. But hospitals nationwide say the numbers shouldn't deter those who are sick from seeking care.
A spokesperson for Our Lady of Lourdes says they are currently treating ICU patients in the ICU, their burn unit, and their emergency department. With the increase of COVID-19 patients coming in, they are not able to take in transfer patients who need additional medical or surgical resources.
They say their critical care resources are currently extended to care for the high number of inpatients and critically ill patients presenting in their emergency rooms by car or ambulance.
Limited occupancy is becoming more apparent throughout the state.
We're told by Our Lady of Lourdes that there are hospitals in Louisiana and as far as Mississippi searching for open transfer beds as a result of the increasing COVID-19 hospitalization rates.
As of Friday, January 8, 2,069 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state, a number that's up 36 from Thursday. 220 of those patients were on ventilators.
Friday's data from the Louisiana Department of Health shows that of the 163 total ICU beds in Region 4 (Acadiana), 151 are in use, leaving 12 available.
LDH reported 105 COVID-19 deaths on Friday, the second highest daily death count since the start of the pandemic. Governor Edwards urged Louisianians to follow safety measures, saying the state has "lost nearly ten months of hard work" to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
"As more people are infected, as our hospitals again reach their capacity, please do what is right – wear your mask, avoid gathering with people outside of your household, stay at home and get tested when you have symptoms, practice social distancing and wash your hands," the governor stated.
"There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but it will not matter if we do not get there."
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