Sarah Koerber, an intensive care nurse at Lafayette General Medical Center, has seen her parents three times since mid-March. She hugged them once.
She told them last week to stay in a cabin in West Virginia, where they were a month off, because returning home to southern Louisiana was too dangerous.
It is not just because they are at risk of complications from the new coronavirus. This is because they risk not taking care of them if they require hospitalization for any other reason.
“The reality of the health care system today is that due to the number of Cryid patients we have, the hospital cannot cope with any other diseases or conditions that may occur,”; Koerber said. “If my father had a heart attack tomorrow and needed open heart surgery, if he went to the Lafayette General emergency room, there’s a good chance he wouldn’t be able to stay there for heart surgery. If he’s lucky, he can be sent to Heart Hospital. If not, it can be exported from the state. I don’t even know if we can handle broken bones now. This is the situation we are in. ‘ “
Coronavirus and hospitalization cases continue to slow in Acadian, as deaths continue to rise without signs of slowing.
This is not even a place for staff. And the situation does not seem to be improving any time soon.
On Monday morning, a total of 181 employees were positive on the coronavirus on the hospital’s main campus. It represents about 6% of the 2,800 employees working for General Lafayette. According to hospital spokeswoman Patricia Thompson, staff are being tested for symptoms, not on an extended scale.
The total number does not refer to the rate of new cases among employees, which, according to Thompson, results from the expansion of the community. Two months ago, only 20 employees tested positive for the virus. A month ago, the total number of employees was 40. Now their number has increased to almost 200.
It is more burdened by already tense staff.
“We work with recruitment agencies and we have very, very determined sisters working overtime and overtime,” Thompson said. “We know how determined they are, such a level of intensity is not sustainable. We constantly ask the community to follow the guidelines regarding the mask and social distances. “
No matter how one thinks about the seriousness of the new coronavirus, it is not disputed that the pandemic strains hospitals in communities …
Thompson said hospital administrators were cautiously optimistic that coronavirus cases at the Academy would stabilize because there had been no increase in the number of patients in a matter of days.
Nevertheless, frustration is growing among local health professionals as the community responds to the mandate of the state mask and the second wave of coronavirus cases in Acadian.
Koerber was mostly silent on social media about what she had seen in the hospital since the beginning of the pandemic. It was a viral video in which doctors ignored the well-known cure for the COVID-19 virus, a disease caused by a virus that inspired her to make an honest contribution about what was really going on.
“I think lately, hopefully a minority and not a majority, we have felt less supported,” Koerber said. “We feel very flooded and bombarded by the Covida level, and then there are people who disagree on whether it’s real or fraud, or a political or conspiracy thing.”
Her Wednesday contribution organized local rounds on Facebook, as well as another passionate contribution – a letter from the head of the medical staff of the Regional Medical Center of Our Lady to Lourdes to the hospitals.
Earlier this spring, Louisiana officials spent millions of dollars buying fans and personal protective equipment and building equipment …
Although Dr. Henry Kaufman IV did not intend to publish this letter, Lourdes officials confirmed its authenticity.
Kaufman said the number of patients with Covid rose to 82 on Monday morning, and admissions continue to exceed redundancies. More nurses and team members get sick every day.
“I have no reason to believe that this wave of cases will ease soon and I assume that we will continue to care for a large number of COVID + patients in the foreseeable future,” he wrote. “As a result, I fear that the recent case trajectory will deplete the medical resources of our community.”
In the letter, Kaufman called on hospital staff who may not see Covid’s patients first-hand to take the crisis seriously and ensure that their friends and family do the same.
“Every day, there are individuals in our community who believe that a pandemic is a scam, that it is politically motivated, that things are not as bad as media portraits,” Kaufman wrote. “If anyone doubts this, I urge them to personally accompany me on a tour of our ICU and COVID units. There you can see your patients in their second, third and fourth decades of life with minimal or no comorbid conditions trying to breathe. at JIS, along with those we would expect to be most severely affected by the disease. This disease does NOT affect only those who have significant medical comorbidities. ‘ “
Kaufman also wrote that in order for schools to open responsibly, “hospitals must have adequate capacity to provide a sharp increase in cases following the return of children to school.”
According to Lourdes spokeswoman Elisabeth Arnold, the teams work after the shift with a short break. The hospital administration provides meals, scrubs, childcare subsidies and prayers with staff.
However, it will need community support to help medical professionals survive the pandemic.
“If other places allowed science and reason to guide their actions, the curve leveled off and the disease was suppressed to the point where normal personal and business activities began,” Kaufman wrote. “Here in our community, there is great resistance to common sense measures and we are taking advantage of our obstacle.”
On Tuesday, July 21, 2020, Lafayette General Medical Center had a record 105 patients with Covid-19. These are photos taken in two hours …
Although morale is low and staff are exhausted, Koerber said she witnessed so many beautiful moments from her team in General Lafayette.
The nurses decorated the patient’s room with pictures of Star Wars and went to the store to buy a melon at the patient’s request. They shouted with patients who could not see their families and cheered on patients who were released after months in hospital.
Her colleagues became her support system.
Koerber said the community seemed to support their efforts until Easter, but support has been steadily declining since then.
“People are going through it,” she said. “But healthcare professionals are on top of that. We would all like Covid to end up and be a thing of the past, and we are not there yet. ”
Kaufman concluded his letter with an employee directive.
“We all went to medicine out of a common good to heal the sick and alleviate suffering,” Kaufman wrote to his staff. “At present, our community is sick, disease is ignorance and misinformation, and you, my colleagues, are a cure. The patient needs your attention.