Forecast: intensive capacity threatens to reach limit “in all states”

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With rapidly rising infection rates and the associated steady increase in Covid-19 patients in domestic hospitals, reaching system-critical utilization in intensive care units (ICUs) is approaching. The Covid-19 Forecasting Consortium warns of this in its capacity forecast issued Wednesday. “Exceeding the 33 percent utilization threshold is possible in all states on Nov. 24,” the experts stress.

The probability of exceeding system-critical utilization in intensive care units in Upper Austria in two weeks is 95 percent, according to the forecasting consortium. In Lower Austria, it is 84 percent, and in Salzburg and Vorarlberg, 65 percent each. The probability is lowest in Carinthia and Vienna, at 35 and 40 percent, respectively.

In terms of Austria as a whole, the probability of running out of capacity for Covid 19 patients requiring intensive care is 65 percent.

The consortium assumes that in a worst-case scenario, more than 900 Covid patients could be in intensive care units in two weeks. The calculated mean is 748 patients requiring intensive care. Most – namely up to 200 – are expected in Upper Austria, the fewest in Burgenland. In normal wards, between 2,512 and 4,060 covid patients are expected, the calculated mean value is 3,194. For comparison: today, Wednesday, 413 severe covid cases were treated in intensive care units, in normal wards there were 1,824.

Vienna: situation could come to a head
Even if the statistics do not show it at the moment – in Vienna, the situation in the hospitals could come to a head due to the increasing number of Covid patients. Currently, 89 intensive care patients are being cared for. “This is a number that is relatively constant,” said Mario Dujakovic, spokesman for City Health Councillor Peter Hacker (SPÖ). But: patients need intensive medical care for longer. 86.5 percent of Covid intensive care patients are not dually vaccinated.

The situation in Vienna is currently nowhere near as dramatic as in other federal states, but there is a very big challenge – with a view to the next few days and weeks: “The limiting factor is currently not the bed as a bed, but the staff. Covid patients are now lying down longer and are more care-intensive,” Dujakovic explained. “Unlike previous waves, the ratio of ICU to normal patients has shifted together. At previous highs, for every five Covid patients, there were four normal patients and one intensive care patient. Now the ratio is one to three.”

Survival rate higher in younger patients
The reason for this is that the average age of covid patients cared for in intensive care units has dropped and is currently 55.4 years old. Younger people are more likely to survive Corona infection, but they require intensive care treatment for longer. Four to six weeks is the current average.

What the statistics show in any case is that 13.5 percent of Vienna’s covid intensive care patients are double-vaccinated, while 86.5 percent are not double-vaccinated. Normal wards have 39 percent of Corona patients who are dually vaccinated and 61 percent who are not dually vaccinated.

“The dually vaccinated may have vaccine breakthroughs. But they usually have milder courses and don’t come to the hospital. We see from the distribution in the hospitals that the elderly are underrepresented compared to previous waves. Those who have been vaccinated twice and are in the hospital tend to be older people whose vaccination dates back some time,” said Hacker’s spokesman.

  • source: diepresse.at/picture: pixabay.com
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