Two hospitals in Louisiana are running short on available ICU beds as COVID-19 cases keep on escalating in the state.

KATC ABC 3 reported on Friday, July 30, that the Intensive care units in both Our Lady of Lourdes and Oschner Lafayette General hospitals had been depleted, with the former having turned to standard beds to accommodate the new patients suffering from the effects of the CCP virus (COVID-19). 

Dr. Amanda Logue attributed the rocketing number of new patients to the Delta variant; she repeated how contagious the Indian version of the CCP virus could be.

“We know that this Delta variant is very infectious, contagious … I’ve heard reports of one person being able to infect up to five to eight people if they are around them unprotected,” Dr. Amanda Logue, Ochsner Lafayette General’s Chief Medical Officer, told the news media. “That is incredibly high numbers and continues to only make the spread that much faster.”

“About four weeks ago we had ten people in our whole health system with COVID and today we have 97, ” Logue added. Her hospital was ready to employ other beds outside of the ICU.

At a press briefing, the interim chief medical officer at Our Lady of Lourdes, Dr. Henry Kaufman, warned the virus could have detrimental effects even on healthy patients.

“Part of that reason and why it’s such a high percentage of our 70 patients is we’re seeing enhanced severity of this illness in these individuals who, many of whom, are otherwise completely healthy,” Kaufman said.

There are three open beds out of 156 in Louisiana’s Region 4, with over 1,000 individuals hospitalized due to a deterioration in their health caused by the virus. The state had 162 patients on ventilators, data by the states’ Health Department.

Both hospitals reported that in contrast to last year’s pandemic, they had more younger patients affected by this new strain of the CCP virus, which was previously known to cause more harm in the older generation.

“It’s a complete inversion in fact from our last big wave of the pandemic, whereas before, well over 50 percent of the individuals in the hospital and certainly in the ICU were over age 65 with multiple co-morbidities, and many of the people in the hospital were over age 55,” Kaufman said. “Now it’s less than perhaps 15 percent of our total patient load right now.”

“Young individuals … are coming in a lot faster and a lot more often than what we’ve seen ever before,” said Logue, saying that it demonstrated how more lethal the Delta variant could be. 

Given that among the 70 patients in the ICU of Our Lady of Lourdes, only two of them were vaccinated people, Kaufman, therefore, urged residents to get inoculated. 

“An elderly individual with emphysema, COPD who, on a bad day with a mild respiratory illness, might end up in our ICU anyway, and an individual with a severely immunocompromised state that the vaccine probably wasn’t as effective in that individual,” the doctor said, explaining the conditions of the two vaccinated patients in the ICU. 

The vaccination rate in Louisiana is not so significant. As of July 31, the state only has 36.9% of its population fully vaccinated. According to data from John Hopkins University, those receiving at least one dose of the shots accounted for 42.4%.

The New York Times reported that Louisiana had a rise of 244 percent in new COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, and the total death toll had amounted to 10,999 cases.

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