03/22/2021 – More than 3,000 people are already in intensive care units in Germany because of covid. Doctors warn of an impending overload – and treat younger and younger patients.
The numbers are worrying: after the first cautious easing in the pandemic, the number of Corona patients in Germany’s intensive care units has risen again. With more than 3,000 beds occupied, the load at the moment is once again as high as at the peak times in the first wave in spring 2020, according to the register of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (Divi).
“We are now starting the third wave in the intensive care units and at a very high level. We had already warned about this at the end of February, and this causes us great concern,” Divi President Gernot Marx said. According to Divi data, 3056 Covid 19 patients were being treated in German intensive care units as of Sunday. “We expect a rapid increase in patients in the coming weeks, as the wave of ICU patients always follows the wave of infection by two to three weeks,” he added. Therefore, he said, nothing can be done about the numbers until mid-April.
With incidences around 200 infections in seven days per 100,000 population, emergency medicine specialists predict about 5,000 Covid 19 patients in intensive care units in early May. That would be nearly as many as at the peak of the second wave in early January and could put another heavy burden on many hospitals.
“We’re already seeing that in the ICUs now, that the patients there are changing: They’re getting younger,” said Lars Schaade, vice president of the Robert Koch Institute. Virologists have also repeatedly warned that vaccinating the oldest cohorts alone will not bring relief. After all, even in the first wave, only about a quarter of intensive care patients were over 80 years old. Many nursing home residents died in their facilities and did not enter intensive care units at all.
Current number is manageable – but other areas will suffer
But there is also a cautiously optimistic outlook: If no new more dangerous mutants are added and vaccination continues to go well, the pandemic could be all but over for hospital emergency departments by August, according to the current forecast.
- source: derspiegel.de/picture: pixabay.com
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