1,160 procedures canceled at Ochsner as Louisiana COVID-19 hospitalizations hit record

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Ochsner Health in Baton Rouge, La., continues to cancel surgeries and redeploy staff across the system as the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations soars, according to KATC 3, the local ABC affiliate.

Warner Thomas, president and CEO of the system, said 1,028 patients were hospitalized across the system during an Aug. 19 news briefing. The system had more than 1,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients last week when it canceled 1,160 surgeries and procedures. Louisiana is among seven states hitting peak COVID-19 hospitalizations since the pandemic began.

The other states where COVID-19 hospitalizations are at record highs include Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Mississippi, Oregon and Washington.

"Given a delta variant spike, the hospital environment has changed dramatically with elective procedures postponed by both of the large hospital systems in Orlando and day-to-day reviews of how to proceed," said Dave Russell, COO of Digestive and Liver Center and Endo-Surgical Center of Florida. "As an independent practice with multiple endo-surgical centers, all our COVID protections remain in place, and volume is increasing as expected, both for patient visits and procedures."

Other surgery centers are stocking up on personal protective equipment and adding staff to prepare for a potential increase in cases as hospitals postpone cases.

Cases are rising in the Upper Midwest and Northeast as well, but at a slower rate. The New York Times reported cases in rural areas in the Pacific Northwest are also increasing. In Roseburg, Ore., CHI Mercy Health converted its ASC into a medical-surgical unit to accommodate patients without coronavirus and make room for the patients with COVID-19 at the hospital.


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