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West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital officials: ‘We need your help, and we need it now’

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 8:42 PM CDT
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Sulphur, LA (KPLC) - As hospitals are reaching full capacity, local health officials at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital made an urgent plea for more people to get the vaccine at a news conference Thursday.

“We need your help, and we need it now,” hospital CEO Janie Fruge said.

Fruge said it’s been an 18-month-long battle for those at the frontlines of this pandemic, and the news conference was an effort to be transparent with the community about just how much COVID-19 has affected the hospital.

“Yet, this team continues to show up strong and ready to care for others,” Fruge said.

Like most hospitals, West Calcasieu Cameron is at capacity.

“Seventy percent have COVID right now, which is the highest we’ve ever seen it. It’s very alarming,” Dr. Ashley Mullins said.

Dr. Mullins is just one of the health leaders who spoke Thursday. She said the hospital’s ICU beds are all taken by COVID patients.

“We love our patients and want to take care of them, but we want to keep them out of the beds,” Dr. Mullins said. “We want to keep them from being here, hospitalized, and not with their families. We want to keep them safe and healthy.”

Many health officials said the only way this gets better is if people get the vaccine. Doctors have repeatedly cited studies saying the vaccines are safe, and Dr. Kelly Fuqua said she understands patients who are concerned but it’s time to act.

“Our most effective and valuable tool in this process is prevention. And vaccination is a crucial piece in prevention,” Dr. Fuqua said. “Today, over four billion doses have been given around the world. And that’s a lot of powerful data and information speaking to the safety of this vaccine.”

The conference was interrupted by a Code Blue call as health leaders were discussing the seriousness of the virus during this fourth surge.

To watch the full news conference, click HERE.

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