INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Mum-to-be of five, Erica Pickett says she visited three different health facilities for help when her 7-year-old daughter had a fever after having the coronavirus.
Pickett says everyone in their house on Wednesday is COVID-free. She is 21 weeks pregnant and says it has been difficult to quarantine her entire household and protect herself. “I was terrified of having it and didn’t know how sick I was going to get.”
Even more difficult was what Pickett faced after his daughter first showed symptoms of COVID-19.
The Indiana State Department of Health reported on Wednesday that 2,436 Hoosiers are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. A total of 14,836 Hoosiers have died from COVID-19.
Pickett started by taking his daughter to Community Health Network’s MedCheck Greenwood. “We waited there for about 30 minutes,” Pickett said. “They called us and told us that they couldn’t see us and that they weren’t going to introduce themselves. And if we waited, it would be several hours.
Pickett says she then rushed her daughter across the street to IU Health Urgent Care-Greenwood and found they too were overwhelmed.
She and her daughter ended up in a hospital in Ascension St. Vincent, where her daughter was treated. However, she said, the hospital had to bring in an additional doctor because it was understaffed.
“We went to St. Vincent ER (emergency room) and stayed there for about nine hours,” Pickett said. “I just felt helpless.”
The Community Health Network says walk-in visits are welcome at their MedCheck facilities, but visitors are warned of longer wait times due to the volume of people entering. A spokesperson said they “offer virtual triage, then COVID testing if needed to decrease volumes.
Saint-Vincent Hospital said as of Wednesday, 64 patients had been hospitalized with COVID-19 at their hospitals in central Indiana. Of the 64 people, 28 of them are in intensive care units.
I-Team 8 has found that these health groups aren’t the only ones trying to deal with the surge in COVID-19 cases.
“People who have issues unrelated to COVID, who need hip surgery, or who have a heart attack or stroke, and who are not accessible,” said Dr. Graham Carlos, physician -Head of Eskenazi Health.
Carlos says Eskenazi Health was at full capacity on Wednesday.
“It’s a big problem that limits access to healthcare. Hospitals are under-resourced because of budgets and have to budget. And to do that, you need a relatively full hospital to operate at around 85% to 90% of its capacity, so that doesn’t leave a lot of surge capacity.
Other health care providers around Indianapolis are seeing the same thing.
IU Health says that “a few of our hospitals have had to do an intermittent intensive care diversion as the volume of patients increases and resources are limited.”