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Ochsner cancels more than a thousand surgeries as doctors tend to COVID patients

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 5:10 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -While COVID patients continue to fill up area hospitals, surgeries, and care for other patients are lacking. Ochsner health leaders tell FOX 8, they’ve redeployed 800 team members to help take care of COVID patients. 160 of them are physicians.

In the meantime, Ochsner canceled more than 1100 surgeries in a week. Also, a lot of small facilities around the region often transfer patients to Ochsner for a higher level of care. Ochsner, though, is having to refuse transfers.

“We had about 150 requests that we could not take last week from 90 different facilities that we are not able to take because of our capacity of covid patients,” says Warner Thomas.

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Doctors are working to keep COVID patients out of the hospital to ease the pressure on healthcare for other individuals. Right now, hospitals are offering COVID-positive patients a monoclonal antibody infusion. That’s the IV treatment that is proving to be very effective at preventing people from becoming sick enough to need hospital care. Ochsner says it’s performed nearly 10 thousand infusions already. LCMC hospitals are also providing infusion centers and increasing their staff.

“Hoping to get those patients who test positive over for an infusion sooner rather than later and also reaching out proactively to those patients to offer that,” says Allison Guste, AVP of Clinical Excellence, LCMC.

Still, hospital leaders want to continue to stress that the best way to protect yourself from COVID is to get vaccinated.

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