December 17, 2021

‘We need help’ IU Health pushed to the brink with record number of COVID-19 patients

FILE: Steve Burns/WFIU-WTIU

FILE: Steve Burns/WFIU-WTIU

Indiana University Health, the state’s largest health system, registered its highest in-patient census due to COVID-19 this week.

More than two-thirds of patients systemwide requiring intensive care are due to complications from COVID-19.

Brian Shockney, president of IU Health’s South-Central Region, said patients are being kept in areas that have never been used before.

“We’re using spaces in our facilities in the south-central region and in this district that we’ve never used before to care for patients,” Shockney said.

Shockney said he remains optimistic the system can continue to care for patients even though elective procedures throughout the region have been cancelled. He reiterated the collective burden this puts on everyone.

“We need help,” he said.

The IU Health system throughout Indiana has welcomed National Guard troops into its facilities to help healthcare workers on the front lines cope with this latest surge.

An analysis from the Indiana Hospital Association showed 95 percent of Hoosiers hospitalized for COVID-19 last month were unvaccinated.

Across the state, hospitalizations continue and resources dwindle. Fewer than 13 percent of the state’s ICU beds are available—fewer than at any point in the pandemic.

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