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Indiana Releases Specific ICU Bed, Ventilator Numbers

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FILE PHOTO: Lauren Chapman
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IPB News

Indiana is preparing for a surge in COVID-19 patients – which state officials believe is coming soon – by allowing unlicensed medical professionals to practice.

The state also detailed specific numbers of ICU beds and ventilators statewide, which officials had refused to do before now.

Family and Social Services Administration Secretary Dr. Jennifer Sullivan says Indiana has 1,940 ICU beds – and the state’s goal is to double that amount.

“Each hospital is increasing its critical care capacity by opening up existing bed space and turning other spaces and facilities into critical care beds,” Sullivan says.

Sullivan says the state also currently has 1,177 ventilators, with the same goal to double that amount.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box says retired physicians and nurses, as well as medical and nursing students who have graduated but not yet earned their licenses, will be allowed to practice during the COVID-19 surge.

“Work under the direction of other physicians and other nurse practitioners to be able to deliver care,” Box says.

Box says that could include helping deliver telemedicine to Hoosiers in need.

Contact Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Indiana State Department of Health for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.