A nurse at a downtown New Orleans hospital has described to CNN the very difficult conditions at the facility. The nurse, who did not want to be identified out of fear that speaking to the media could lead to employment repercussions, described the situation at the hospital after finishing a shift two days ago.
"We are averaging five to seven intubations and three to four deaths a day. We have had to set up a temporary morgue (white box) outside the ED next to ambulance ramp for those who expire from COVID-19, this temporary morgue is full," the nurse said.
The nurse told CNN that while the situation at the hospital is dire, the staff are in better shape than some.
“We are being asked to recycle our N95 masks. We only have 16 unused ventilators left in hospital. We’ve been told the surrounding hospitals are at max capacity without ventilators, leaving our hospital and one other major hospitals left to care for these patients," the nurse said. "EMS are having to recruit volunteer EMT workers to help as New Orleans EMS paramedics are either in quarantine for exposure or sick themselves."
The nurse offered a grim prediction:
If this type of workflow continues into April, we will not be able to sustain as a hospital."