La. needs 6,000 more nurses to assist overwhelmed health care facilities, state health officer says
BATON ROUGE - During a Monday morning Health and Welfare meeting with Louisiana lawmakers, Dr. Joseph Kanter of the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) indicated that the increasing number of COVID patients in need of treatment continues to overwhelm many local hospitals and their staff.
Dr. Kanter said 6,000 more nurses are needed in Louisiana and added that the Department of Health (LDH) has requested assistance from the military.
Dr. Kanter with LDH speaking to lawmakers says the state is short 6,000 nurses. They have requested assistance from the military. @WBRZ— Sydney Kern (@sydneykern) August 16, 2021
He expressed concern that burnout would become a problem for local healthcare workers.
Dr. Kanter says he’s worried about ‘burn out’ within nurses. “It’s been a big challenge and I wouldn’t blame anyone who needs time to themselves, but there’s no question we have more patients than we do staff right now.” @WBRZ— Sydney Kern (@sydneykern) August 16, 2021
Kanter listed a few statistics related to patient numbers and said 14.4 percent of all ER visits involved patients with symptoms that are consistent with those seen in COVID patients. This means their symptoms are suggestive of COVID and sometimes these patients test positive for COVID and other times they do not. Keeping track of this number helps health officials maintain awareness of the exact volume of patients who are coming into the ER.
When it comes to the question of how many new COVID cases are diagnosed every day, Kanter went on to say that based on a seven day rolling average, Louisiana is seeing 106 cases per 100,000 residents per day. He said, "That is the highest point we have been in this pandemic."
This number falls above the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) averages for the highest level of community transmission risk.
He also said that about 95% of all COVID cases in Louisiana are now Delta.
Kanter added that at the moment, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID is 2,956.
These statistics and other indicate that Louisiana is still struggling to meet the needs of the increasing number of COVID cases in the state.
Additional information related to LDH and COVID-19 can be found here.
COVID cases are still prevalent to the degree healthcare workers are still stretched thin
14.4 percent of all ER visits in the state involved a patient presenting symptoms consistent with those seen in COVID patients.
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