INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — COVID-19 is affecting many Hoosiers with sickness and possible death. Health care workers in hospitals are fighting a battle that continues to go on, making for long hours and high emotions.
“We’re tired. We’re still committed to every patient that needs help,” said Dr. Mark Luetkemeyer, Chief Medical Officer for IU Health Methodist & University Hospitals.
Central Indiana hospitals are dealing with an increase in COVID-19 patients.
“I think the second wave is washing over all of us right now. It’s happening in real time. You can just look at the numbers. We’ve seen an increase in hospitalizations of almost 200% now, since October 1st. COVID hospitalizations. With other patients out there that need medical care, that’s creating a lot of capacity concerns,” said Brian Tabor, president of the Indiana Hospital Association.
Dr. Graham Carlos told News 8 that Eskenazi Health, like most hospitals, is quite full right now.
“We have all of our normal patients, and now we’re seeing more and more coronavirus patients come in,” said Carlos. “So, hospitals are discussing what we need to do to increase capacity moving into the winter. That may involve delaying surgeries as we did in the Spring, and other elective cases, in order to increase capacity.”
Luetkemeyer said their hospitals are “pretty full.” Meaning the beds that they have in those two hospitals, there are patients in most of those beds, but he said they’re doing everything they can to increase availability of care for patients.
“It’s a marathon. People are showing signs of strain. As well as our health system. That’s what we are working through, our surge planning, that we put together in the first wave. We’re modifying that with what the circumstances are now. We are definitely feeling that,” said Luetkemeyer.
Doctors said now is just not the time to let your guard down about the coronavirus.
“It is so important that we keep our guard up. This as humans living among each other, it’s critically important because while you may not get deathly ill from the coronavirus, your friends, your family, your loved ones, our community members could,” said Carlos.
Doctors are continuing to remind Hoosiers to wear a mask, wash your hands, and get a flu shot. If you see a health care worker, tell them you appreciate them and thank them for what they’re doing, they said that really makes a difference.