Indianapolis News and HeadlinesIndiana Coronavirus News


'The pandemic will end, but COVID isn't going away': IU Health provides COVID-19 update

iu health methodist hospital
Posted at 1:28 PM, Feb 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-22 13:28:59-05

INDIANAPOLIS — IU Health doctors say the number of COVID patients is going down, but hospitals remain busy.

IU Health says the FEMA team, which first deployed to IU Health Methodist around Christmas, left Tuesday morning. Elective surgeries have resumed but each hospital is at a different place with how many are taking place. Doctors are also encouraging blood donations as the shortage does play in a role in those surgeries.

"We have a whole process in place for those surgeries where we anticipate that blood might be needed. [We] evaluate ahead of time to make sure that we have the blood available ... it does come into play," Dr. Chris Weaver, SVP and Chief Clinical Officer, said.

Dr. Weaver says during the last surge the hospital peaked at more than 600 COVID patients across its hospital system. Tuesday's number was 256 inpatients.

"Hospitals are still very full, it was just a different kind of full ... we are back to a more sustainable model of care," Dr. Mark Luetkemeyer, VP and Chief Medical Officer, said.

Dr. Michele Saysana, Chief Patient Safety & Quality Officer, says Hoosiers need to figure out how to continue living with COVID-19 circulating.

"As we've talked about — how do we continue to care for the patients in our communities ... and realizing that COVID is probably going to be here like other respiratory viruses are, like influenza and some of the other viruses that we see," Dr. Saysana said. "We'll continue to watch it, continue to pay attention to it very closely like we do with everything else and also continue to take measures should we need to if we do have other surges in the future."

19 children are currently at Riley Hospital for Children with COVID-19 and some of them are in the ICU.

"The majority of children ... if they end up hospitalized, they are very sick. They end up in our ICU at Riley," Dr. Saysana said. "We are still seeing a number of kids with COVID."

She urges parents to keep kids home if they have a fever and are sick and for adults to also not go out if they're not feeling well.