Disaster medical assistance team arrives at Our Lady of the Lake to support COVID-19 surge
Published 6:49 am Monday, August 2, 2021
BATON ROUGE, LA – Our Lady of the Lake welcomed relief today by the Disaster Medical Assistance Team from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The federal assistance team provides additional support to Louisiana’s largest hospital to care for the high surge of COVID-19 patients, increasing patient care capacity and opening more beds.
The 33-member team was welcomed by Our Lady of the Lake this morning with a traditional blessing of hands ceremony as they join together to care for the highest volume of COVID-19 patients the region has experienced thus far due to the Delta variant.
The DMAT from the HHS National Disaster Medical System consists of physicians, mid-level providers, nurses, paramedics, a respiratory therapist, pharmacists, and administrative support specialists who will serve at Our Lady of the Lake’s Regional Medical Center campus for the next month.
“We are pleased to welcome national disaster medical professionals to partner with our teams and support the ongoing surge of patients we are experiencing,” said Stephanie Manson, Chief Operating Officer at Our Lady of the Lake. “With their presence, we are able to admit patients faster, open an additional intensive care unit and provide assistance to our existing COVID-19 units. We appreciate our state and federal government’s support to answer our request for assistance.”
Our Lady of the Lake is currently treating 155 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, with about one-third in intensive care. On average, one COVID-19 patient is being admitted every hour in addition to a steady influx of patients coming into the Emergency Department. The hospital already instated an earlier pause on non-urgent inpatient procedures to make additional beds and staff available for COVID-19 patients.
“Our beds are full of patients with COVID-19 who are predominately unvaccinated. In the past two weeks, we have seen a rapid influx of younger patients under the age of 50 come into our hospitals with the Delta variant,” said Manson. “The best way to protect yourself and your family from the highly transmissible virus raging through our community is to get the vaccine.”