Monday, September 26

Medical services

If you seriously hurt yourself in Calcasieu Parish, you most likely will be treated somewhere else, according to local officials.

State and local officials say that three of the five major hospitals in the parish are open for emergencies only, and aren’t admitting patients for treatment other than stabilization.

‘‘From a medical standpoint, we are struggling to maintain services,’’ said Mark Severn, a parish hospital coordinator with Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.

So, from a medical standpoint, Calcasieu Parish is not the place to be.

‘‘The infrastructure is not there,’’ said Dr. B.J. Foch, the state Office of Public Health Region 5 medical director. ‘‘People should not return at this time.’’

Christus-St. Patrick, West Calcasieu-Cameron and Women and Children’s hospitals are operating emergency rooms, with a triage center set up by a federal medical disaster team at the Lake Charles Civic Center. Memorial and W.O. Moss Regional hospitals are not operating.

Injured patients who require surgery are being transported to other areas in Louisiana, mostly Lafayette and Alexandria, Foch said.

Severn said the work load for local medical responders has been one or two calls an hour.

‘‘We call it medium,’’ he said of the work load.

Without electricity and running water and sewage service, ‘‘it made no sense to have patients when the situation isn’t safe,’’ Severn said in regards to the closing of Memorial.

‘‘Hospitals on generators don’t run air conditioners,’’ he said. ‘‘If you live here you understand.’’

With sweating walls and water on the floors, ‘‘you don’t want to put a patient in that situation,” he said.

Dennis Spears
Night Editor

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