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40% of COVID-19 patients in ICU at Riley Hospital for Children are spending time on ventilators

Posted at 3:16 PM, Jan 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-04 18:32:44-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Health officials at Riley Hospital for Children said of the patients coming to the hospital with COVID-19, more than half are spending time in the ICU and 40% of those patients are spending time on a ventilator.

Elaine Cox, the vice president and chief medical officer at Riley Hospital for Children, said children have been dealing with developmental and behavioral health impacts of the pandemic all along, but now they are feeling the direct impact of COVID-19.

Cox spoke during a press conference with other health leaders on Tuesday.

Right now, the children's hospital has four times as many children being admitted compared to any other previous surge, Cox said.

Of those, more than half are spending time in the ICU, Cox said, and at least 40% of those patients are spending time on a ventilator.

"There are more of them and they are sicker," Cox said.

In the maternity unit, the hospital is seeing a constant positivity rate among pregnant women, Cox said.

As of Tuesday morning, the hospital is currently 87% of what it can tolerate from a capacity standpoint, Cox said. That number is expected to go up throughout the day as they as treat patients with other viruses and in the trauma center.

A significant number of the staff members are also dealing with the virus so the hospital has had to suspend elective procedures, move people around and redeploy people, Cox said. The hospital has also had to cut back some services, like art and music therapy.

They have very important implications in healing, "but it's what we must do now," Cox said.

Towards the end of the week, the Indiana National Guard will help the hospital with both clinical and non-clinical tasks, Cox said.