Hoosier nurse describes COVID-19 and explains why ventilators are so important

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Ventilators are in short supply in hospitals across the country, especially in the areas hardest hit by COVID-19.

Prior to this pandemic, we’re told hospitals had enough machines to treat people for other conditions.

Nurse and manger Eric Wolfe says this is very scary. He describes the virus like an elephant sitting on your chest.

“You may start out with difficulty breathing for a couple hours and then it gets worse and worse.” Wolfe said.

Wolfe made a social media post about the virus, ventilators, and why it’s important to social distance. It’s been viewed more then 85,000 times.

“The whole intent was can I help somebody listen? Can somebody just stop in the tracks for a second and shelter down?” Wolfe said.

The Hoosier native is among many healthcare workers who think the worst of the virus has yet to come and more people will fall ill. Also, they may need a ventilator to stay alive.

With a limited supply of them that could lead to very hard decisions for healthcare workers.

According to the Indiana State Department of Health, we currently have close to 1,200 ventilators to use and they’ve identified another 750 that could be used for critical care patients.


Wolfe says when you get sick with this virus it can start to cause your lungs to fill with liquid. He says your lungs work even harder trying to breathe to the point you run out of energy, then you need help to breathe from a ventilator.

“COVID is not a good death. It includes great suffering and pain. Not just for the patient but for the healthcare worker as well,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe says he didn’t make his viral video to scare people, but instead to educate them.

He wants Hoosiers to listen to Governor Holcomb and try to avoid this virus.

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