Are Memorial and LifeCare Real Hospitals? Are They Open or Closed?

Apple TV+’s medical drama ‘Five Days at Memorial’ revolves around the discovery of forty-five dead bodies in a New Orleans building that accommodates two hospitals named Memorial Medical Center and LifeCare Hospitals after Hurricane Katrina. The series progresses through the events that happen in Memorial and LifeCare that lead to the discovery of the dead bodies, depicting how thousands get stuck in the hospital building during the hurricane and the subsequent flood, awaiting evacuation. Since the majority of the series is set in Memorial and LifeCare, the viewers must want to know whether they are real hospitals. Well, let us share the answer!

Are Memorial and LifeCare Real Hospitals?

Yes, Memorial and LifeCare are real hospitals. Memorial and LifeCare operated in the same building that situates at 2700 Napoleon Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana. The building initially accommodated Southern Baptist Hospital, founded in 1926 by the Southern Baptist Convention. In 1990, the hospital merged with Mercy Hospital (presently known as Lindy Boggs Medical Center) to be operated as Mercy-Baptist Medical Center. Tenet Healthcare Corporation bought the two hospitals in 1996 and the Baptist hospital became Memorial Medical Center, referred to as “Memorial Baptist” in the region.

After Hurricane Katrina, the hospital got isolated due to the flooding of the nearby region. The bottom floor of the hospital building got reportedly flooded as well. Over two thousand people, which included patients, their families, doctors and nurses, and other hospital staff, were eventually evacuated from the hospital. Tenet shut down the hospital building since the evacuation and listed the same for sale in June 2006. LifeCare Hospitals operated on the seventh floor of Memorial to provide long-term treatment to mostly elderly and debilitated patients, occupying the north, west, and south hallways.

LifeCare’s patients were mostly dependent on mechanical ventilators and they were treated at the hospital until they won’t need hospital care. Even though LifeCare was housed inside Memorial, it was independent of Tenet’s hospital and had its own administrators, nurses, pharmacists, and supply chain for its operation. Dr. Anna Pou and two nurses of Memorial were charged with four counts of second-degree murder of four patients who were getting treated in LifeCare. After the discovery of the dead bodies, a LifeCare attorney relayed on a report that a Memorial doctor and nurses gave lethal doses of medicines to LifeCare’s nine patients.

Are Memorial and LifeCare Open or Closed?

When Tenet listed Memorial for sale, Ochsner Health System bought the hospital along with two other Tenet Hospitals in the Greater New Orleans area. Ochsner renamed Memorial to “Ochsner Baptist Medical Center.” Ochsner Baptist is currently open under the new ownership. The hospital currently has around 600 physicians and specialists working at the place. Ochsner had renovated the hospital upon buying it from Tenet. Along with several additions, the company opened a $40 million Women’s Pavilion in 2013 in the hospital complex, which includes OB/GYN clinic, labor and delivery, and maternal-fetal medicine.

Image Credit: OchsnerHealth/YouTube

After Hurricane Katrina and Ochsner’s subsequent acquisition, LifeCare seemingly closed down their hospital in the same building. As per reports, LifeCare also opted to pay undisclosed sums to family members of several deceased patients to settle lawsuits. The company eventually filed several of its hospitals in Texas, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Ohio for bankruptcy, and many of them were later acquired by Post Acute Medical.

Read More: Where is Anna Pou Now?