Steady increase in Covid-19 hospital admissions continue

Drop in available intensive bed units to 36 in recent days with 224 cases now in hospital

Cavan General Hospital has the most Covid-19 patients with 28 as of 8pm on Thursday, according to a HSE daily operations report. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Cavan General Hospital has the most Covid-19 patients with 28 as of 8pm on Thursday, according to a HSE daily operations report. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

There are 36 intensive care beds available in the country, as the number of people hospitalised with Covid-19 continues to steadily increase.

On Friday morning there were 244 confirmed Covid-19 cases in hospital, and 30 patients in intensive care.

The number of people with Covid-19 admitted into hospital has steadily increased in recent weeks, amid growing rates of the virus around the country.

Cavan General Hospital has the most Covid-19 patients with 28 as of 8pm on Thursday, according to a Health Service Executive (HSE) daily operations report.

Cavan, along with a number of other border counties, has seen sharp increases in the rate of growth of the disease in recent weeks, and currently has the highest incidence in the country.

Cork University Hospital had the second highest number of Covid-19 positive patients at 22, followed by Beaumont Hospital (17), Tallaght Hospital (17) and Letterkenny Hospital (16).

Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown recorded 15 patients, and University Hospital Galway had 13 patients, five of those who had been admitted in the last 24 hours.

The report outlined in total there had been 24 additional hospitalisations in the last 24 hours. There were a further 116 suspected coronavirus cases across the acute hospital system, it noted.

No space

As pressure on the hospital system has increased in recent weeks the number of available intensive care unit (ICU) beds has dropped. There were 36 critical care beds vacant as of 6.30pm on Thursday, the report said. This is a drop from 39 vacant ICU beds the previous week.

In total, there were 240 patients in critical care beds across the hospital system. Eight hospitals did not have available ICU bed space, including Connolly, Cork University Hospital, University Hospital Galway, the Mater Hospital, Mercy, Mullingar, Portlaoise, and Midlands Regional Hospital Tullamore.

Beaumont Hospital in Dublin has the most spare ICU capacity, with six open and staffed beds free.

There were 29 confirmed Covid-19 cases across all intensive care units, and 20 of those patients were on ventilators on Thursday, according to the HSE report. One patient who had been in ICU with coronavirus had died in the last 24 hours.

There were also a further 14 suspected Covid-19 cases in intensive care units, and eight of those were on ventilators, the report said.

Repeated warnings

Public health officials have repeatedly warned in recent weeks that the increasing number of cases would have an impact on the health service’s ability to cope. Hospitals have had to reduce their overall capacity to allow for better physical distancing between patients.

The State’s chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan has warned that the spread of Covid-19 was out of control, and the trajectory of the disease was rapidly deteriorating. He added that the number of hospitalised patients was growing faster than the exponential growth models predicted.