Louisiana Gets Less Ventilators Than Governor Ordered

Mar 30, 2020

Credit Courtesy: GettyImages via NPR

GOV EDWARDS COVID-19 UPDATE-  Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell  held  a joint press conference from the Morial Convention Center yesterday afternoon.  Edwards  said more than 1,000 hospital beds will be ready within a week for patients recovering from the Covid-19 illness who won’t require intensive care resources.   With the rise in COVID-19 infections,  Edwards stressed  that  the projection  models  indicate  Louisiana  will  need more  ventilators  to  meet  the  expected demand  in  the  weeks  ahead. 

"We have ordered well over 12,000 (ventilators) , 5,000 from the national stockpile, at least 7,000 from private vendors,"Edwards said. "Thus fare we've received exactly 192 and this over the last several weeks now."

Edwards said Louisiana  hospitals may we  be  out  of  ventilator capacity by April 4 or 5  and beds  by April 10.  He explained that hospitals are adding more than 160 intensive care unit beds in New Orleans, more than 120 ICU beds in Shreveport and more than 100 ICU beds in Baton Rouge.

MAKESHIFT HOSPITALS - Governor John Bel Edwards (ctr) during a joint press conference with New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell at Morial Convention Center. 03.29.20
Credit Courtesy: Governor John Bel Edwards Facebook Page

"We are running models based on growth rate of our cases, the percentage of people who are positive that we know are going to have to go to the hospital," explained Edwards. "A percentage of those individuals who are going to need a ventilator, then you have to figure out what the average stay is going to be in the hospital."

When asked about some groups ignoring his emergency orders on social distancing and gathering in groups larger than 10,  Edwards said "You're violating lawful orders, you're going to consume time and attention of First Responders and you're making it much more likely that this disease is going to continue to spread."

Edwards stressed that people need to be better neighbors by practicing social-distancing  to prevent community spread of the Coronavirus. Louisiana Department of Health’s website shows the current number of Coronavirus cases reported in the state is 3,540 up from  2300 last Friday . There have been 151  COVID-19 related deaths reported, up from 83.   59 out of  the  64 parishes in Louisiana  have  reported Coronavirus  cases.  There are 1127  Covid- 19 patients in hospitals, of those 380 are on ventilators.