LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Local hospitals are struggling to keep up with the number of patients needing care.
Both Franciscan and IU Health Arnett are near capacity, and patients are having to wait in the emergency room for hours.
Each has seen an uptick in ER patients, and staffing problems are to blame.
They also say they've seen a spike in COVID hospitalizations.
Some of those needing care are having to wait in an ER bed for hours before they can be moved to another floor which can delay them from getting the exact care they need to get better.
IU Health Arnett Chief Medical Officer Dr. James Bien said he saw it first hand when helping in the ER last week, and the situation is only getting worse.
"I saw a number of situations where without question, in normal times, those individuals would be in an emergency department bed with a doctor and a nurse around them, but we were too busy and too unable to provide them that care at that moment," Bien said.
Dr. Bien said having fewer COVID hospitalizations would help the problem and is stressing the importance of masks and getting vaccinated.
As of Thursday, IU Health has 27 COVID patients, and 23 are unvaccinated.
Five of the six in the ICU haven't gotten the COVID vaccine, and the three on ventilators are not vaccinated.
Franciscan Health Lafayette has 32 COVID hospitalizations, and 14 of those are in the ICU.
Seven are on ventilators.
Franciscan Health Lafayette Vice President of Medical Affairs Dr. Daniel Wickert said 88% of their COVID patients are unvaccinated.