Lafayette, LA - Several healthcare professionals held a media briefing today to discuss the current state of covid-19 in the region.
The overall sentiment during today's briefing is that this current surge is by far the worst we've seen since the start of the pandemic and virtually all areas of healthcare within hospitals has been affected.
Region 4 medical director Doctor Tina Stefanski said the number of deaths in August has already exceeded the number of deaths reported in any of the previous three months.
"It's been very typical that we're seeing an increase in cases, hospitalizations and deaths. statewide for the month of august reported yesterday, that's ten days into the month," Stefanski said. "We had already exceeded the number of deaths that we had reported monthly for any of the prior three months."
And the average age of those deaths stemming from the delta variant is currently 53 years old, a significant drop compared to previous covid surges according to Doctor Amanda Logue, Chief Medical Officer at Ochsner Lafayette General.
"When we went through our surges, the last three, our average mortalities were in the age of 70 to 76 years old so we’ve had almost a twenty year drop," Logue said.
This fourth covid surge has once again put a strain on hospitals statewide resulting in many having to defer important elective surgeries in order to treat the influx of covid-19 patients.
"This isn't people just deciding to have a surgery for their betterment," said Dr. Henry Kaufman, Interim Chief Medical Officer at Our Lady of Lourdes. "These are individuals who need heart valve replacements, heat bypasses, removal of brain tumors. I personally have a couple of colon cancer patients at this time," he said.
Stefanski said "You know if we don’t really come together as a community, we’re going to continue to see these increases and continue to see this transmission grow. and we just really need the community to come along with us."