Baton Rouge hospitals prepare for spike in hospitalizations amid coronavirus surge

Our Lady of the Lake
Our Lady of the Lake(WAFB)
Updated: Dec. 10, 2020 at 5:57 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards said Thursday at his press conference that they are expecting a spike in hospitalizations tomorrow. Hospitals around the Baton Rouge are already seeing that.

Local hospitals like Our Lady of the Lake (OLOL) are seeing more patients staying overnight to get COVID-19 treatments, and The Lake is getting ready for a possible winter surge.

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“It’s definitely happening here. You know we haven’t seen numbers like this really since the summertime, I think. So, I would say just continue to be mindful and do take it seriously,” says Stephanie Manson who is the chief operating officer at OLOL.

OLOL says the recent up tick in hospitalizations started around fall—just after Halloween—and there’s been a steady increase since then. The hospitalizations are from all different age groups.

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“We’re admitting 10 to 15 patients per night. For example, today we had almost 80 COVID patients in the hospital across our market. To give you an idea we have 700 total patients. So, a little over 10% are COVID-19 patients,” adds Manson.

Not as many patients are on ventilators which is a plus, but doctors and nurses are preparing for the worst in 2021.

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“We expect our census to increase really in January and February time frame. That traditionally is our highest volume time frame with respiratory illnesses. So, we expected that will be here as well, whether it’s higher flu or higher COVID or other respiratory illnesses,” says Manson.

One of the biggest issues medical directors worry about is making sure enough staff is available if hospitalizations continue to rise. The Lake says they do have a plan if that is the case, but they are hoping the Baton Rouge area can turn it around.

OLOL is encouraging everyone to get their flu shots, and there is still time. The less flu hospitalizations in the hospital, the more room they will have for COVID-19 patients.

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