Louisiana Hospital Staff Stayed Behind To Care For 19 Babies As Hurricane Laura Landed - The Shade Room

Louisiana Hospital Staff Stayed Behind To Care For 19 Babies As Hurricane Laura Landed

TSR Positive Images: First off, Roomies please send prayers to Lake Charles, Louisiana, which was recently ravaged by Hurricane Laura. Some of our Roommates have shared with us that they are still without power and struggling to rebuild what was destroyed.

Even in the midst of a literal storm, the nurses at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital went above and beyond, even when their own homes were at risk, to care for the babies that were being cared for in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The hospital operated on generators as the staff worked to keep all 19 babies safe.

“It’s important to know the dedication of all the nurses and the respiratory therapists to keep taking care of the babies when they don’t even know the condition of their homes,” Dr. Juan Bossano told CNN. “In a small town like this, people have to pull together. I’m proud of them.”

The residents of Lake Charles knew Hurricane Laura was headed for their city as a mandatory evacuation order was in place. The city got some of the worst of the storm, with an hour of 120-135 mph wind gusts, according to the National Weather Service.

Bossano and a team of 14 nurses, 2 neonatal nurse practitioners and 3 respiratory therapists hunkered down in the NICU all night. Two teams took shifts caring for the babies as staff tried to get sleep when they could.

Some of the babies were on respirators and ventilators, some as small as one or two pounds, according to Bossano. 

There was no air conditioning and in the middle of the night, the water went out in the hospital, according to Bossano.

“It was scary for everyone,”said Alesha Alford, vice president and administrator for Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for Women. “When the winds got so bad, we had to move our patients into the hallways. Staff were sleeping in the hallways with patients.

Eventually, the babies had to be transferred from the NICU to the hospital’s main campus.

“They did it in record time, 19 babies across the city in under two hours,” said Director of Communications Matt Felder. “They had to do it before conditions became too dangerous.

“We had 19 NICU babies with four on ventilators, some of them very sick, and we were out in 2 hours,” Alford said. “I have never seen something work so quick and so smooth for something that was unexpected.”

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