Mar 29, 2020 - Health

Louisiana on track to exceed ventilator capacity this week, governor says

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said on CBS News' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that his state is at risk of exceeding its ventilator capacity by April 4, stating that he has placed orders for "about 12,000 ventilators" but has thus far only received 192.

Why it matters: Louisiana — and particularly New Orleans — is the site of one of the most intense coronavirus outbreaks in the U.S. Local and state government officials like Edwards have been sounding the alarm about the nationwide shortage of ventilators, which are crucial for treating patients who are unable to breathe for themselves.

What they're saying: Edwards said the Trump administration has not yet given him assurance that the state will get the ventilators it needs, stating, "We know that ventilators are in short supply for everyone. All states are having this issue to one degree or another."

  • "But over the past few weeks, we've put in orders with the national stockpile, for example, through FEMA, but we've also pursued manufacturers and vendors trying to place orders for about 12,000 ventilators. I think, thus far, we've received 192. That is inadequate to the task."
  • "If we stay on this present growth curve that we're on, with respect to coronavirus cases, we believe that by about April 4 or so in the New Orleans area, we will exceed our capacity for ventilators. And obviously, that's not where we want to be," he continued.

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