OLOL Welcomes Disaster Medical Assistance Team to Help With COVID Surge

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BATON ROUGE — A number of Louisiana hospitals are struggling to meet the needs of the dozens of virus-infected patients who checked in during the most recent resurgence of COVID-19.

But healthcare workers at Notre Dame du Lac (OLOL) in Baton Rouge now hope they will be better prepared for a large number of COVID patients thanks to a group of healthcare workers who are ready to give a helping hand. hand.

On Monday morning, OLOL received relief from the US Department of Health and Human Services Disaster Medical Assistance Team.

The Federal Assistance Team is providing additional support to Louisiana’s largest hospital to deal with the surge in COVID-19 patients, increasing patient care capacity and opening more beds.

The 33-member team was welcomed by Notre-Dame du Lac on Monday morning with a traditional hand-blessing ceremony as they come together to care for the largest number of COVID-19 patients the region has seen so far. present due to the Delta variant.

During the welcome meeting, OLOL President and CEO Scott Wester expressed his gratitude for the team’s arrival, explaining why their presence was needed: “It’s been quite a journey over the past year and a half for our nation, our organization, and most importantly for the communities, we are always so privileged to serve.”

He continued: “Dr Katie O’Neal, who is our chief medical officer, and I spoke probably three weeks ago and it was a weekend where I said, ‘I’m starting to hear a lot of friends and colleagues say, “I need to get tested, I don’t feel very well.” And here we are now, three weeks later, at our highest census level we’ve seen since the pandemic began with COVID.”

Wester said OLOL is provided with adequate testing kits and PPE, but lacks the necessary staff.

Thanks to the arrival of the team, this problem is now being dealt with.

The HHS National Disaster Medical System DMAT consists of physicians, mid-level providers, nurses, paramedics, a respiratory therapist, pharmacists, and administrative support specialists who will serve on the campus of the Regional Medical Center of Notre-Dame du Lac next month.

Wester went on to say that as of Monday, the hospital was treating 155 COVID patients and most of those people are unvaccinated.

In a press release, OLOL confirmed that a third of the 155 are in intensive care. On top of that, OLOL says a COVID-19 patient is being admitted every hour in addition to a constant influx of patients entering the emergency department.

Stephanie Manson, chief operating officer at Our Lady of the Lake, said the majority of COVID cases OLOL sees involve unvaccinated people.

Manson advised, “The best way to protect yourself and your family from the highly transmissible virus raging in our community is to get vaccinated.”

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