Coronavirus: Beaumont Hospital treating most confirmed cases (137)

Hospitals across State dealing with 881 confirmed Covid-19 patients, 449 suspected cases

Beaumont Hospital is treating 137 confirmed coronavirus patients. File photograph: The Irish Times

Beaumont Hospital is treating 137 confirmed coronavirus patients. File photograph: The Irish Times

 

Beaumont Hospital is treating 137 confirmed coronavirus patients, over a third more than any other hospital, according to latest Health Service Executive (HSE) figures.

Acute hospitals were dealing with 881 confirmed Covid-19 cases and a further 449 suspected cases on Wednesday morning.

Dublin hospitals had the largest numbers of Covid-19 patients, with the capital accounting for over half of the total national cases.

There are 12,547 known cases in the State and some 444 people have died from the virus to date.

The Mater Hospital is treating the second-highest number of cases with 85 confirmed Covid-19 patients, followed by St James’s Hospital (81), and Tallaght University Hospital (75).

St Vincent’s Hospital was treating 66 known coronavirus patients as of 8am Wednesday. The hospital dealing with the most cases outside Dublin was Letterkenny Hospital with 37 patients.

The HSE figures showed the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in acute hospitals had risen by 71 in the past 24 hours to 881. However, by 8pm on Wednesday that figure had dropped to 846.

Hospitals were also awaiting the results of 335 test swabs on Wednesday, down from a high point of a backlog of 850 tests on 24 March.

Limerick University Hospital has 57 suspected Covid-19 cases awaiting test results, followed by 32 cases in St Vincent’s University Hospital and 27 suspected cases in Mayo University Hospital.

There were 142 patients in critical care beds on Wednesday evening, and an additional 27 suspected cases awaiting test results. Of those 108 people were on ventilators to assist their breathing, according to the HSE figures.

St James’s Hospital and Tallaght Hospital both had 14 patients in critical care, the highest number across the acute hospitals.

The number of confirmed Covid-19 patients in critical care has steadily increased from 80 in late March to a highpoint of 160 on April 9th.

There are just over 400 staffed critical care beds, but health officials have said the HSE has capacity to increase intensive care beds to more than 800 during a surge.

However, this extra capacity is dependent on available staffing levels, and the health service has been ramping up critical care training to resource intensive care units in the event of a surge in severe Covid-19 cases over the coming weeks. A total of 227 critical care beds were occupied as of April 15th.

Nursing homes have been advised to care for coronavirus patients in their facilities and to only transfer patients to hospitals where it would “confer additional benefit”.

Health officials have said clinicians and families will often seek to avoid moving patients from nursing homes to hospital if they are frail or dealing with serious underlying health conditions.

The number of outbreaks of Covid-19 in nursing homes has risen to 155, up four on the previous day. Now almost one-third of nursing homes in Ireland are dealing with coronavirus cases and are facing serious staffing issues.

Professor of infectious diseases at the Mater and Rotunda hospitals Jack Lambert has said the spread of Covid-19 in nursing homes is “a catastrophe in the making” and under utilised staff should be sent to “every single nursing home in Ireland”.