Louisiana hospital staff stays back amid hurricane to care for babies in Intensive Care
Recently, Category 4 Hurricane Laura ravaged the city of Lake Charles in Louisiana, and what followed was a mandatory evacuation order. But for the 19 babies in neonatal intensive care at the Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, evacuation was not an option.
Thankfully, the staff members at the hospital were adamant: If the babies couldn’t be evacuated safely, they’d remain behind with them until the danger passed.
With wind gusts of up to 135 miles per hour hammering the town, neonatologist Dr. Juan Bossano along with a team of 14 nurses, two neonatal nurse practitioners, and three respiratory therapists stayed behind in the NICU, caring for their tiny charges in shifts as the storm raged through the night.
Earlier in the day, the babies had been ferried from the single-story Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for Women to the hospital’s sturdier 10-floor main building. Some of the infants were on respirators or ventilators; some were born premature—as early as 23 weeks.