EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - COVID-19 is something that hospitals have been preparing for the last several months.
According to officials with the Deaconess Health System, the rise in local cases doesn’t mean they have seen an increase in demand for ICU beds.
“We think that’s primarily because it tends to be younger people who are getting infected more frequently right now,” Dr. James Porter, president for the Deaconess Health System said.
The problem that Deaconess health providers is witnessing is a younger generation spreading COVID-19 to an older generation.
“So we’re worried that we might see people who will have a harder time with the infection,” Dr. Porter explained “Get the infection as a result of the people who are showing up positive today.”
An older generation not able to fight off the virus as easily would start filling up ICU beds. This is a possibility that Deaconess hopes to avoid.
“As people go up beyond their 40th decade, the risk of requiring hospitalization, the risk of death starts to go up significantly and it really jumps up in the 80 and above group,” Dr. Porter said.
Though ICU beds and ventilators are ready and available right now, the concern is still there, which is why Deaconess has been working with city leaders to bring more awareness to what’s to come if this pandemic isn’t taken seriously.
“You can go from, ‘Hey, we don’t have that much’ to ‘Oh my goodness, it’s really going up quickly.’ That’s why we’re imploring our community to take steps now,” Dr. Porter said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Deaconess reported no one needed a ventilator due to COVID-19 in any of its hospitals.
Ascension St. Vincent provided 14 News with the following statement:
“Ascension St. Vincent has multiple sites of care that can be used for ICU needs. As a national healthcare system, we have the ability to make intra-hospital inventory and supply transfers when appropriate. Because of this, we cannot share a specific number of available ventilators, ICU beds or PPE. Indiana residents can rest assured that Ascension St. Vincent is adequately prepared.”