Without power, in the dark and hot University Hospital, Gail Gibson, R.N., M.N., and her staff for five days cared for the smallest and most sickly babies. Flooding cut them off from rescue, medical supplies diminished, and the temperature topped 100 degrees while they cared for twenty babies and twenty-five women, a few of whom would soon be due.
“The staff did a great job. A lot had concerns about their own families and homes,” she said. “But they kept their focus on their patients. Our greatest concern was maintaining the health and well being of babies and mothers in the hospital.”
She and her staff did not lose a mother or baby during the storm or the transport out of the hospital five days later even though some moms and babies were sick and babies were being born.
“We delivered five babies,” said Gibson, who is the director of maternal and child and medical surgical services for the hospital. On their last night in the hospital, the staff successfully delivered a twenty-three-week-old preemie using lights and medical equipment run by portable generators.
Pleased with the return to service of University Hospital, now named the Interim LSU Public Hospital, she is also happy that most of her staff are back. “They now have additional experience that they acquired working in hospitals throughout the nation,” she said. “Their experience will only make us stronger.”