Patients ventilated by hand in Thibodaux hospital after Hurricane Ida cuts power
Doctors and nurses manually pumped air into patients on ventilators when the emergency backup also stopped working amidst a city-wide power outage
Hurricane Ida continued to wreck havoc on medical facilities as professionals were forced to ventilate patients in a hospital in Thibodaux, Louisiana after the category 4 hurricane caused a massive power outage. According to reports, nurses and doctors had to use old-school techniques to help patients on ventilators breathe by the bag.
News of this comes after Ida made landfall just south of Thibodaux and blew through Louisiana during the entirety of Sunday, August 29. A state of emergency had been declared way ahead of the storm with Governor John Bel Edwards claiming on Saturday, August 28, that Ida could end up the state's worst hurricane since the 1850s. Terrifying videos of the town of Grand Isle being completely flooded and the Mississippi river reversing its course have also left people dumbfounded. News of the hospital's dire crisis however doesn't seem unlikely after the hurricane's wrath was caught on camera as winds ripped off Galliano's Lady of the Sea Hospital's roof at one point during the downpour.
While emergency generators are available, the Thibodaux hospital's backup also stopped working amidst the storm. Employees at the Thibodaux Regional Health System reportedly had to transport their patients to another floor, and those that were breathing on ventilators were tended to manually by doctors and nurses. The patients were moved from the hospital's intensive care unit (ICU) to the post-anesthesia unit a floor above them, but they had to rely on staircases to commute. Newsweek reports this means doctors and nurses had to help move air into their patients while moving them up the flight of stairs in the middle of the category 4 hurricane.
Nola.com reports that the patients were moved upstairs after strong winds left a generator damaged. Dr Joe Kanter, the state's chief health officer told the outlet that all the other generators in the hospital are in working condition now. "Due to the unknown impacts that the storm may still produce we are closely monitoring the situation," the staff said. "We continue to provide a safe environment for our patients and staff."
The LaFourche Parish in Louisiana was reportedly hit worst by Hurricane Ida which landed in Port Fourchon with 150 mph winds. Ida's landfall coincided with the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina that had unleashed massive havoc on the Gulf Coast.
Along with the Thibodaux hospital, the 9-1-1 system in the parish also suffered and went down due to the storm. For five hours, Ida roared as a Category 4 storm moving inwards, before the winds dropped to 125 mph, pulling it down to a Category 3 status. As of 10 pm on Sunday night, winds at 105 mph were recorded while Ida moved through the west of New Orleans, lashing the city with severe rainfall and unbearable hard winds.
Journalist Al Roker was also caught on camera getting drenched by severe winds blasting against him as he withstood the storm to report on the same but sparking several memes and jokes in the process with people accusing NBC of trying to kill its star meteorologist.