Hospitals filling up with more patients that delayed care due to COVID
BATON ROUGE- As the number of COVID patients in the ICU has dropped doctors are seeing an influx in non-COVID patients.
“People are coming in with cardiac problems and you're seeing more renal failure patients,” Dr. Ralph Dauterive, Ochsner Vice President of Medical Affairs said.
Medical experts at Ochsner and Baton Rouge General believe that some patients did not come in for their visits due to fear of COVID.
“Patients have waited to be treated for their illnesses or their symptoms, they're signs and symptoms that they had during this past year of COVID,” Monica Nijoka, Baton Rouge General Chief Nursing Officer said.
Telling WBRZ they are seeing the consequences, in health conditions that have worsened over time when for some they could have been treated sooner.
“So instead of coming with mild gallbladder symptoms, you come with a septic infected gallbladder, instead of a bleed from an ulcer you come in with a hole in your stomach from an ulcer,” said Dr. Dauterive.
Adding the rise could also be due to long-term COVID effects on patients that they are seeing more often.
“We have a sensation that COVID affects the heart and the kidneys and maybe the liver,” said Dr. Dauterive.
“We are still learning about the after-effects of COVID on patients, and many times that has to do with diabetes, their heart and Gastrointestinal bleeding,” said Nijoka.
80 percent of patients in the ICU and BRG are non-COVID. While at Ochsner it's decreased from last week's 85 percent to 66 this week.
“When a hospital that gets up to 85 percent capacity, you're essentially full, you are always counting on patients to discharge to create beds,” said Dr. Dauterive.
But, hospitals are optimistic, saying with fewer COVID patients their staff can get a little break. The conditions they are seeing now they have under control.
“We see success with the non-COVID patients more so than we do with the COVID patients we know there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Nijoka.
Baton Rouge General has 19 COVID patients and Oschner has 8. Both hospitals tell patients to make sure they get their vaccine and don’t be afraid to come to the hospital.
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