The Journal Gazette
Thursday, September 02, 2021 4:10 pm

Indiana's largest hospital system suspending some surgeries

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana’s largest hospital system will be stopping all inpatient non-emergency surgeries as the state faces a growing surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Indiana University Health announced Thursday that the surgery suspension would start Monday. The decision comes after IU Health said last week it was cutting such surgeries by half.

“The surge of COVID-19 patient volumes has continued to accelerate at a rapid pace, and this temporary change is needed to further relieve pressure on our care teams and to free up space for critically ill patients,” IU Health said in a statement.

Indiana hospitals were treating 2,366 COVID-19 patients as of Wednesday, according to the state health department. That is double the number of patients from 24 days earlier.

IU Health, which operates 16 hospitals around the state, also said that more than 1,000 employees did not meet Wednesday’s deadline to get COVID-19 vaccinations and would be suspended immediately.

More than 97% of the system’s approximately 36,000 employees have complied with the vaccination requirement, which was announced in June, spokesman Jeff Swiatek told the Indianapolis Business Journal. But that means about 1,080 employees have not been vaccinated.

IU Health does not have an inpatient hospital in the Fort Wayne area. The health system has three primary care centers and a newly opened ambulatory surgery center that is not affected by the nonemergency surgery suspension.

Plans are under way for a fourth medical office center at Interstate 69 and Airport Expressway and a facility at Indiana 37 and Interstate 469.

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