Children’s Hospital to Get Help Caring for COVID-19 Patients
NEW ORLEANS – At the request of the state of Louisiana, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is deploying a team of medical professionals from its National Disaster Medical System to Children’s Hospital New Orleans to offer assistance in safely caring for children hospitalized with COVID-19.
“We are unfortunately experiencing a rise in COVID-19 cases in children across the state, driven by transmission of the Delta variant including amongst the unvaccinated in younger patients,” said Dr. Leron Finger, the hospital’s chief quality officer. “Unlike the first or second wave of the virus, this variant is more contagious as it sweeps through our community, this time with more kids requiring hospitalization compared to previous waves of the pandemic. This increase in boots on the ground, particularly in caring for our COVID-19 patients, is extremely valuable in helping us deliver healthcare with heart to our community.”
Children’s Hospital New Orleans has experienced a surge of pediatric COVID-19 unlike anything observed previously. The NDMS team will collaborate with the Children’s Hospital New Orleans team to provide short-term surge support and expertise to help Children’s Hospital better manage a surge in pediatric patients. The support is designed to relieve the pressure on medical staff.
NDMS is a part of HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, helping communities respond to and recover from public health emergencies and disasters. Since January 2020, ASPR has deployed thousands of medical, logistical, and command and control personnel from NDMS to help states, territories and jurisdictions respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. They work as medical professionals in communities across the country and serve as intermittent federal employees when called into service, generally deploying for up to 14 days.
The federal team includes physicians, mid-level providers, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, and administrative support specialists. They are being deployed from healthcare facilities in California, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.