Physicians weigh in on hospital situations in the Greater Wichita Area

Local

WICHITA, Kan (KSNW) – So how are Wichita and the area doing when it comes to COVID? Six medical professionals from south-central Kansas briefed the Wichita-area community and business leaders. They said the situation is grim when it comes to cases of COVID that are impacting younger people, and as the hospitals continue to be tight on beds.

More than 350 people attended the online meeting Friday to get an in-depth look at what local doctors are seeing firsthand in area hospitals.

“The short story we are running at capacity,” said Dr. Rex Degner the Chief Medical Officer Hutchinson Hospital.

“For the past few months and particularly for the past few weeks we are at capacity both in the ICU and in the med surge,” said Dr. Geetha Ramesh with the MD Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center.

The head doctors from Hutchinson, Newton Medical Center, Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center, McConnell Air Force Base, Wesley Medical Center and Ascension Via Christi all sharing the current state of COVID in the Wichita area.

“Our percentage is about 94-95 are unvaccinated who are being hospitalized the rare few who are vaccinated generally have an immune condition that has blunted their immune response to the vaccine,” said Dr. Sam Antonios, MD, Chief Clinical Officer for Ascension Via Christi.

A new trend locally, the age of those in the hospital with COVID is now younger.

“This has shifted to a younger age group particularly the 34-55 age group now comprised as 31-percent of the population since May as well as 30 percent of the mortality,” said Dr. Lowell Ebersole the Chief Medical Officer Wesley Medical Center.

ICU beds for all patients not just those suffering from COVID are harder to come by.

“The last 24 hours we had to decline 28 patients requests came into our transfer center trying to transfer these patients in for a higher level of care and we had to decline them,” said Dr. Edersole.

The doctors agreed the community can prevent the spread.

“If people can adapt quickly to the vaccine and also adopt masks we prevent a lot of further challenges,” said Dr. Antonios.

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