Indiana lawmaker shares “grim” news after call with hospitals

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – On Tuesday, hospitals across the state updated state lawmakers about how they are preparing for more COVID-19 cases.

State Representative Ryan Dvorak said he was on the call hosted by the Indiana Hospital Association. He explained administrators from IHA as well as directors of hospitals from around the state joined in.

After the phone call, State Rep. Dvorak posted on Facebook calling the news “very grim.”

In his post, he claimed one hospital is not getting test results back for more than a week and they are nearly out of test swabs. He said the personal protective equipment level at another hospital is very critical, with maybe two weeks left.

He went on to explain a large urban provider does not have enough beds or ventilators for a peak.

“They are planning,” State Rep. Dvorak said. “They are nervous. They are worried they don’t think they will have enough resources to meet peak.”

Campuses in large urban areas and small rural hospitals updated him on what they are seeing now and their plans for more patients.

“I am encouraged by the fact that the people who need to be taking this seriously are so that is important,” he said.

We checked in with one of our rural hospitals. Logansport Memorial Hospital said its capacity is just under 60 patients. They only have six ICU beds and seven ventilators.

Their staff though said they feel prepared and they are already reaching out to surrounding counties to see what resources are nearby.

Would we consider staging our hospitals in such a way where we become specialty type hospitals, where one hospital does tackle the need for ICU or ventilation and taking those patients we would normally see and having them in different areas,” said Perry Gay, President and CEO of Logansport Memorial Hospital.

They want to have solutions in place now, especially if they can not send patients to other hospitals for more care.

“We have a lot of patients we regularly send out to Indianapolis for whatever reason,” Gay said. “If that is no longer an option because they are at capacity we are going to be isolated.”

 In collaboration with the Indiana State Department of Health, Indiana Hospital Association is facilitating regional calls around the state. They are trying to accelerate COVID-19 preparation efforts. Hospitals are participating to ensure resources are allocated appropriately.

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