HEALTH SYSTEM

All available reserves deployed as ICUs reaching full capacity

all-available-reserves-deployed-as-icus-reaching-full-capacity

As the pressure continues to bear down relentlessly on Attica, all available reserves of the National Health System (ESY) are being activated.

The health authorities’ action plan provides for the transfer of patients to private hospitals and the conversion of simple intensive care beds at public hospitals into Covid beds. It also provides for the transfer of non-Covid patients to other ESY hospitals as well as private ones.

Monday at noon, there were about 300 Covid ICU beds in Attica, from 250 10 days ago, and this figure is expected to increase to 340 by the end of the week. 

Private hospitals have already made 120 ICU beds available and, as of Monday, the transport of coronavirus patients to Attica hospitals from Corinth, Halkida, Livadia and Thiva has been stopped, with the exception of cases that require intensive care.

Moreover, in case of a further deterioration of the situation, the Health Ministry’s plan also envisages the creation of ICU beds in hospital resuscitation units and operating theaters. To this end 150 respirators have been committed.

Referring to the critical situation at Athens hospitals, the president of Greece’s ambulance service (EKAV), Nikos Papaefstathiou, told Kathimerini that while the pressure is indeed high, it is “manageable at the moment.” He said the situation in the Covid ICUs changes from one moment to the next.

Indicatively, he said that ICUs in Attica on Monday afternoon were at 92% capacity. This percentage, he said, fluctuates depending on the admissions, discharges and the new beds that are reserved for the treatment of patients with coronavirus. For its part, the Panhellenic Federation of State Hospital Employees (POEDIN) described what it called a suffocating situation on Monday afternoon at 12 hospitals in Attica, with only 12 available ICU beds available out of a total of 270.

In another indication that the pressure on ESY is nowhere near easing just yet, the number of nationwide patients on ventilators shot up to 406 on Monday, with new hospital admissions for Covid-19 coming to 259.

Meanwhile, 1,176 new cases of Covid-19 were reported nationwide on Monday despite many parts of the country, including Athens, being in a hard lockdown for several weeks. Another 30 fatalities were also reported.

A week ago, on February 21, new cases stood at 884, intubated patients came to 326 and the number of deaths on that day was 25.