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Health leaders worry for NWLA hospital capacity amid fourth surge

Dr. Joseph Bocchini from Willis Knighton speaks on COVID-19 surge & the impact on kids.
Dr. Joseph Bocchini from Willis Knighton speaks on COVID-19 surge & the impact on kids.
Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 10:46 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2021 at 7:53 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - State and local leaders are calling it the “fourth surge” as hospitalizations hit a record-breaking number in Louisiana.

The patients being hospitalized are younger and the demand on the hospital systems is growing.

COVID-19 statistics
COVID-19 statistics(KSLA)

“The hospitals in our area are already filling up. They have a large number of COVID-infected patients in our hospitals. We have a large number in our emergency rooms and a large number who are undergoing treatment, advanced treatment in our intensive-care unit,” Dr. Joseph Bocchini said.

Willis-Knighton Health System’s infectious disease expert added that it is frustrating to see the country and the state go backwards. “It is frustrating to have this surge and to have hospitals now be crowded.”

COVID-19 statistics
COVID-19 statistics(KSLA)

Brian Crawford, chief administrative officer for Willis-Knighton Health System, said all the hospital beds — including ICU beds — are full.

“Our emergency departments are just inundated,” he said over the phone.

Crawford said about 20% of all ER visits were COVID-19 patients on Monday, Aug. 2. He said that’s about the average daily. Meanwhile, the state average for COVID-19 ER visits is about 11%.

Ochsner LSU Health reports 43 COVID-19 patients, with more than 90% of them unvaccinated.

Christus Health System sent KSLA News 12 an emailed statement that reads, in part:

“CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System continues to see a surge in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. We are still taking care of patients seeking treatment, outside of COVID-19, in our facilities. Our facilities have capacity, skilled caregivers, and adequate supplies/materials. Louisiana Department of Health Resources should be used for specific data concerning COVID-19. Our policy hasn’t changed in providing specific numbers on COVID cases and hospitalizations.”

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