Connect with us

U.S. News

Bed availability has improved at St. Francis Medical Center



MONROE, La.– Some positive news on the Homefront in the fight against COVID…St. Francis Medical Center is finally seeing a reduction in their COVID unit.

ICU beds are finally opening up at St. Francis thanks to the new COVID-19 vaccine. From the beginning of the pandemic to end of December, St. Francis had upwards of 100 COVID ICU patients at any given time. Its only in the last couple of weeks that staff have experienced significant positive change.

“Over the last two weeks, we are down from the upper 90’s to the mid 40’s in the number of patients. We’ve been fortunate enough to be able to reduce from four intensive care units dedicated to covid-19 patients to two,” said Dr. Thomas Gullatt, Chief Medical Officer at St. Franics.

Dr. Thomas Gullatt, Chief Medical Oficer at St. Francis says the reduction in the number of ICU units being occupied has allowed hospital staff to breathe a little easier. Gullatt says this is because the vaccine has been distributed to members of the community and staff. Even though COVID numbers are reducing, there are still other medical emergencies happening every day.

“Emergencies are still occurring even in covid-19. People are still having strokes, people still have heart attacks, people still have other significant illness’”, said Gullatt.

Gullatt says the new COVID vaccine has been St. Francis’s saving grace. By the end of this week, they’ll have administered more than 5,000 doses to healthcare providers and community members. The presence of the vaccine does not eliminate all major COVID concerns.

“I think that this is a very serious disease. Everyone needs to take as many precautions as they are able to do. There are facilities here that are ready to help take care of you,” said Gullatt.

Some of these precautions include simple things like frequently washing your hands, wearing your mask and social distancing.

Currently, the vaccine is available to 2 groups of people. Tier 1-A, which are front line health care workers. Tier 1-b is for individuals over the age of 70, home health care patients and providers. You can still get COVID after the getting the vaccine, however your chances are greatly reduced. Studies have also shown that symptom’s of COIVD are much milder after you get the vaccine.