Hospitals in Miami Valley overburdened as COVID-19 infections increase

Dayton, Ohio – Miami Valley hospitals are overburdened as COVID-19 infections increase as well as with people afflicted with winter illnesses in need of medical care.

The Chief Medical Officer of Miami Valley Hospital, Dr. Roberto Colon, is concerned about the current situation. “There are more patients than beds that we are expecting a lot of the time, and that leads to unfortunately a lot of wait times,” he said.

According to Dr. Colon, 15 to 25% of their patients at the moment are being treated for COVID-19 complications, with most of them being unvaccinated. The emergency room in the hospital is also badly affected.

“What we’re having to do is adjust our operations. We’ve been hearing from places all over the country that they’ve been having to do this for some time. We’re catching up to some of those volumes pretty quickly,” Dr. Colon added.

Dr. Nancy Pook, an emergency physician at Kettering Health, said she and her colleagues are struggling with overcrowding. “We’re seeing extremely high volumes day and night throughout the 24 hours. It results in people waiting sometimes to even get in to the emergency department,” said Dr. Pook.

Individuals who can be treated at other urgent care clinics or by a family physician should do so, according to Dr. Pook, so that emergency rooms may be freed up for people who have higher-risk issues. “We wanna be able to be there at the door for people with strokes and heart attacks. So, we need to be cognizant of that as we protect our community,” said Dr. Pook.

Dr. Colon also offers some tips for anyone who wants to help slow down the hospital’s overcrowding. “We still can influence the next several weeks and months. By doing the right things, by getting everybody vaccinated, by getting those boosters. By wearing the masks and avoiding those large gatherings,” said Dr. Colon.

Even if they aren’t having symptoms, many patients who go to the emergency rooms at Kettering Health and Miami Valley Hospital are waiting for COVID-19 testing for extended periods of time. Dr. Colon advises people to look for those tests elsewhere as well, in order to reduce hospital wait times.

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