INDIANAPOLIS – On Wednesday, Indiana reported its highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations ever. That’s after it broke the record on Tuesday.
At Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis, the hospital has run out of room to store the dead. It is using a refrigerated truck that it acquired weeks ago in anticipation of this surge.
A spokesperson for the hospital said its morgue is small and has reached its capacity.
“We are over capacity meaning if capacity is 100 percent we are over 100 percent,” Dr. Graham Carlos said.
Dr. Carlos is the hospital’s executive medical director. He said they have run out of room and have had to get creative to make more beds available.
“We have expanded our room capacity to include rooms such as pre-anesthesia rooms, endoscopy rooms, perioperative areas to now be inpatient areas,” Dr. Carlos said.
Eskenazi is not alone in this problem. IU Health said it has refrigerated trucks on standby but hasn’t had to use them yet.
Several health systems tell CBS4 they have very little room left. Some have none at all.
”Our inpatient unit has been full for just days now, so every opportunity we have to discharge a patient home the bed is full immediately,” said Linda Wessic, chief operating officer at Major Health Partners.
Franciscan Health Indianapolis told us it currently has 96 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 conditions.
“We are approaching our highest level of admissions since late January 2021, when we treated 120 patients,” a spokesperson for Franciscan Health said in a statement. “The vast majority of these patients are unvaccinated.”
Franciscan said it is routinely holding numerous inpatients in the emergency department while they await beds. The systems is also operating beyond its staffed capacity at this time.
Ascension St. Vincent Indianapolis hospitals said they are in the same situation.
There are 101 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 across the Ascension St. Vincent Indianapolis hospitals. That is an increase of 44 patients in the last two weeks.
Ascension said that of the people who have died from COVID-19 at its hospitals, 90 percent of them were not vaccinated.
“These are sick patients that are in a hospital because you have a life-threatening problem and so it’s stressful to be continuously taking care of so many patients,” Dr. Carlos said.