Lexington's Baptist Health Hospital calling for reinforcement from the National Guard

Posted at 2:47 PM, Sep 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-13 17:16:59-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — It’s gotten so bad inside some of Kentucky’s hospitals that the National Guard has been called in.

“We normally don’t call them in unless there’s a natural disaster,” said Dee Beckman, the chief nursing officer at Lexington’s Baptist Health hospital.

Beckman said her staff is taxed right now, and needing help with almost every aspect of patient care.

“They will be cleaning some of our equipment, like ventilators so we can use those on additional patients, I.V. poles and help with food services,” Beckman said of the many tasks the Guardsmen and women will be working on while here.

The deployment agreement is for two weeks but that term can easily be extended should the need arise.

“…to have them deployed to acute facilities is not something I think any of us anticipated,” Beckman said of the surreal feeling of seeing the servicemen and women inside the hospital.

Beckman said there are several employees who are currently having to quarantine, which is also creating the need for additional bodies.

“We appreciate that the Governor has deployed them to various facilities in the state. I think it’s going to bring some relief,” Beckman added, before saying that it could serve as a wake-up call for the unvaccinated. Beckman says the majority of Baptist Health’s COVID-19 cases at this point are from those who haven’t been inoculated.

“If people see the National Guard in the hospitals maybe they’d realize it’s serious and hopefully seek out a vaccine,” she said.