Doctor explains challenges healthcare workers face in Central Indiana amid COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 10:49 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 23:36:14-04

INDIANAPOLIS — As healthcare workers are on the front lines working to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, they are asking you to help protect them and those who are most at risk.

Some healthcare workers say they are trying to get adequate amounts of personal protective equipment, things like masks and face shields.

"Right now, we're trying to get adequate quantities of personal protective equipment," Dr. Mercy Hylton, an emergency pediatric medicine physician, said. "We haven't hit the surge and we're already running low on those things."

Some hospitals are being forced to reuse some equipment because of this shortage.

"We don't know about the adequacy of this equipment when it's being reused," Hylton said. "So, we feel like we're putting ourselves, our health, our lives, and our family's lives in dangers when going to work."

Because of the strain being put on the healthcare system, Hylton says the most powerful thing you can do to try to stop the spread of the virus is social distancing.

"It means basically keeping to yourself at home, so that you cannot infect other people and other people cannot bring you the infection," Hylton said.

While testing for COVID-19 is becoming more available, Hylton says they are still not testing everyone.

"We are not testing people with mild symptoms at all," Hylton said. "We're really only testing people that need to be admitted to the hospital with critical care."

Hylton also says employers should stop asking their employees to get sick notes because it's causing people to put them selves at risk by going to a medical center.

Another issue healthcare workers are having is patients showing up to hospitals or urgent care not accepting patients with respiratory issues, Hylton says. The best bet is to call a doctor or urgent care ahead before you go anywhere.

Hylton explains how flattening the curve can help stop the spread of the virus here.