INDIANAPOLIS — A nurse working to stop the spread of COVID-19 is speaking up about the dangers of not staying home as ordered by the governor and the potential ripple effect of ignoring warnings on hospitals.
"We've all seen the images of young people at beaches but you also see a lot of young people out and about not just in Florida or California but here too," Kaylee Sills said.
Sills is a registered nurse. She's seen what most of us cannot get access to during this time.
"While they are saying we are younger we won't get sick despite the new data coming out saying younger and younger patients are getting sick," Sills said.
Sills is speaking up because more and more young people are putting themselves at risk for the novel coronavirus instead of staying inside like they've been told. While the virus may not take their lives, the fact that those same young people need to be treated too can tie up nurses and doctors whose expertise is being spread thin right now.
"What they are taking away is not just gloves which we are running short on, masks which we are running short on, gowns, faces shields because we have to protect ourselves to be able to help other patients," Sills said.
It's critical that people listen to Gov. Eric Holcomb and stay at home through April 7.
RTV6 has been checking with Eskenazi Health, Ascension St. Vincent, Community Health Network, IU Health and Franciscan Health to see how they are doing on supplies.
Here's what the health networks around Indianapolis have told RTV6:
A spokesman for Franciscan said the network is "constantly evaluating and adjusting our hospital's clinical response in caring for patients who have been confirmed as COVID-19 or suspected as having the disease." The hosptial is working on contingency plans if there is a surge in patients.
Franciscan said at present they have a sufficient supply of masks and other personal protective equipment to meet current needs.
"Like most, if not all hospitals, Franciscan Health continually monitors the usage and inventory of our materials and are in touch with the necessary supply chains," the spokesman said.
At IU Health, a spokesman said the health system has plans in place to treat a potential influx of patients that includes "evaluating and ensuring adequate staffing, space and equipment"
The health system is also closely monitoring supplies, including personal protective equipment.
A spokesman said the health system is accepting donations of the following items:
- Respiratory masks, including industrial N95 and N99 masks
- Facial and eye protection
- Hand sanitizer with 70% alcohol content
- General personal protective equipment like gloves and observation gowns
Anyone interesting in donation supplies is asked to email IU Health Supply Chain Operations.
Ascension St. Vincent
A spokeswoman for Ascension St. Vincent provided the following statement to RTV6:
We are taking proactive steps with our distributor and suppliers to ensure access to supplies. We are arranging expedited shipments directly from manufacturers, assessing alternative products and taking advantage of our abilities as a national system to make intra-hospital inventory transfers when appropriate. We have also implemented conservation measures, in anticipation of further supply chain disruption over the coming months due to COVID-19. At this time, we are not experiencing any issues with our supply inventories. We are following the updated CDC guidelines regarding suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases and the use of personal protective equipment. The safety of our caregivers and patients is our utmost priority as we all work to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and care for all those in need.
A spokesman for Eskenazi Health said the network's supplies are currently adequate. The health network is operating a command center and are closely monitoring usage and anticipating additional supplies as the patient need increases.
Officials at Community Health on Tuesday said the network is accepting donations of gloves, gowns, aprons, masks, respirators, face shields, wipes and other antibacterial products.