Reid Health, Kettering Health overwhelmed with influx of patients

RICHMOND, Indiana — One local hospital said it’s seeing more COVID-19 patients now than it has ever seen before.

As the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to ravage communities across the country, Reid Health in Richmond, Ind., is also seeing the increase in patients.

Dr. Thomas Huth with Reid Health said, “We are seeing really unprecedented numbers for us.”

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Huth continues by saying, “Everyone is under a lot of stress. Everyone’s working a lot of hours. This is a all-hands on deck type situation.”

In December, there were three to eight people on a ventilator each week. This month, the number of patients on a ventilator have gone from seven during the first week of September to 12 this week. Higher than any other week since the start of the pandemic.

Reid Health is also seeing younger to middle-aged patients more often.

“We’ve had them as young as about 21. We’re seeing a number of deaths in the last week or so – about 10 and they’re as young as about age 42. This has happened before but never in these numbers,” Huth said.

At Kettering Health, Dr. Patrick Lytle said while they are also seeing younger patients, their situation is a bit different.

Lytle, who is Vice President of Clinical Outcomes with Kettering Health, said, “We’re getting close to where we peaked in December and January, but we’re not quite there yet.”

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The hospitals in the Kettering Health network also busy with patients who are not COVID-related.

“Typical respiratory. In the fall, we got gastro bleeding, heart attack and also seeing patients who put off surgeries last year,” Lytle said.

At Kettering Health and Reid Health, a strain is being put on the healthcare workers.

Lytle said, “Day in and day out it wears on you.”

According to Hut, there are more than 400 positions currently open at Reid Health.

“On top of that, we have to ask the people to work double shifts, triple shifts, 80-plus hours per week, and that’s not something we can keep up with,” Huth said.

The doctors added that many of the patients suffering from severe COVID are overweight. At Reid Health, Huth said 95% of the patients suffering from severe COVID are overweight and more than 85% percent are unvaccinated.

Kayla Courvell

Kayla Courvell

I was born and raised in a small town just north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and decided as a child I was going to be a news reporter.