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Hospitals evolve during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 11:07 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 00:07:17-04

Hospitals across the country including here in Acadiana are using their emergency surge plans.

That means they are converting other departments into intensive care units amid a potential spike of coronavirus patients.

Doctors and leaders at Lafayette General do feel prepared if they were to see an increase in patients. Tuesday afternoon, a virtual news conference was held to give us better insight into the efforts across the healthcare system.

Each day, LGH evaluates the coronavirus pandemic and their overall plans.

Chief Nursing Officer Renee Delahoussaye said, "We discuss where are we at with our care plan, where are we at with our capacity. Are there any needs? PPE, ventilators and we discuss how we can move those resources around the system to make sure everyone has what they need and we can care for our patients appropriately."

David Callecod, President of LGH said the system is still concerned about a surge of patients like hospitals have seen in New Orleans and other areas of the country.

"We have not seen that dramatic surge. We've seen a steady increase in patients and we've learned an awful lot."

The healthcare system is cautiously optimistic moving forward after new models showed less of a spike of COVID-19 cases. Despite that, LGH has revised its mask policy at the recommendation of the CDC.

Some areas are re-using masks as much as possible and others are using homemade masks.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Amanda Logue said, "In the areas in which we have COVID patients, we are particularly careful with the infectious nature so we do not reuse surgical masks in those areas. In other areas, we re-use masks as long as they are not damaged or soiled."

Throughout this unprecedented time, Lafayette General is making sure their staff is well rested and not only taking care of their physical health, but also their mental health. Each shift begins and ends with prayer.

"Making sure they have the tools and equipment to do their job and reminding them to take care of themselves, to rest when you can rest. When you take off, really take off. We've received some good feedback from them as well," said Chief Operating Officer Al Patin.

Like so many other hospitals, Lafayette General is shifting staff as needed from other departments to help. They're also implementing virtual visits in patients rooms to limit the number of people exposed to COVID-19.