Baton Rouge area hospital capacity a concern as coronavirus cases rise

Hospital officials becoming concerned over ICU capacity in Baton Rouge area as coronavirus cases rise

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - ICU capacity continues to be a concern as COVID-19 numbers continue to grow.

Right now, the Baton Rouge area has 60 beds to cover seven parishes, but as ICU’s remain full, doctors are seeing another trend. Overall capacities at hospitals are up, and it’s starting to put a strain on resources.

“During those peak time periods you might have to sit around an emergency room with a non-acute problem for two to three hours before you actually got worked up and seen,” said Dr. Ralph Dauterive with Ochsner Health.

Dauterive said the increase is likely a symptom of people not getting their routine checkup and putting otherwise trivial health issues on the back burner until they become more serious.

“You have early symptoms that you might delay getting care for and then it becomes a full-fledged issue,” he said.

Dauterive said he encourages everyone not to skip the doctor, to help keep the load off the hospitals until the pandemic is over.

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