Medical

Hospitals monitor amount of supplies available to treat COVID-19 patients

Central Indiana hospitals seeing shortage of supplies to treat patients

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Health care professionals are on the front lines in fighting the coronavirus say they are monitoring their supplies.

Gloves, surgical masks, ventilators and testing kits are supplies in high demand. The supplies can affect the quality of care given to critically ill patients and raise the risks of doctors catching COVID-19.

A message from Ascension St. Vincent’s public relations department said, “We are working daily with local and national teams to manage supply-chain resources and we are able to call upon national resources to proactively plan as needs increase.”

Dr. William G. Carlos , Eskenazi Health’s chief of internal medicine, said its supply count continues to evolve and medical professionals are using alternatives.

“You may have heard that now industrial N95 masks, which may be used by drywallers and painters and construction workers,” are in short supply, Carlos said. “They filter the same particle size as the same surgical N95s we have, so that freed up a wealth of more masks to take care of these patients.”

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An IU Health spokesperson said the hospital is not experiencing a shortage but is planning ahead for a potential surge in patients.

Community Health and Hendricks Regional Health did not respond to News 8’s requests for comment.

Eskenazi’s Carlos said health care professionals are working diligently to protect what supplies are left.

“We’re being really intentional about how many people are going into that patient’s room, what are we doing with the equipment that we have, what can we reuse, what is safe to reuse, what’s safe to clean, and so we’re really really being good stewards.”

Dr. Kristina Box, Indiana health commissioner, said the state is closely monitoring the supplies at hospitals and her department will step into help if needed. “Our focus also includes long-term care facilities, dialysis centers, because we know those facilities serve people at the highest risk of severe illness.”

Health care professionals are urging those who are experiencing mild symptoms to stay home so they can preserve supplies for critically ill patients.

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