The number of hospital admissions has practically tripled in just two weeks, and is now approaching 3,000 in Quebec, evidence that the epidemic is spreading hard this month.
Yesterday, 2,994 patients with COVID-19 were hospitalized in Quebec. That’s nearly three times more than at the end of December, when they occupied 1,063 beds, according to the National Institute of Public Health in Quebec (INSPQ).
In intensive care, 272 patients were occupying a bed due to COVID-19 yesterday. This is the record number since the beginning of the epidemic.
Plus, there are twice as many people hospitalized with COVID-19 than exactly last year, when they were 1,525.
“January is tough. Combining Omicron with substandard vaccination coverage means we end up with too many cases,” admits Dr.s Carl Weiss, MD, a microbiologist and infectious disease specialist at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal.
According to INSPQ, hospitalization data for the next few days “will provide a better understanding of the course of the epidemic,” but a peak may be on the way.
“We are about to reach the peak, and the peak is very high,” Prime Minister Francois Legault noted yesterday. It is possible that the number of hospitalization cases will increase in the coming days. ”
Currently, there are 14,122 of the 16,100 beds in Quebec, according to the Department of Health. Note that the National Institute for Health and Social Services Excellence no longer makes predictions about hospitalization, because the number of positive cases is unreliable.
However, access to hospitals is currently considered the “number one public health problem,” according to National Director of Public Health Dr.s Luke Poelho.
Although many patients in the hospital who have tested positive for COVID-19 are not very sick, the isolation protocol to treat them requires more staff. In addition, about 15,000 employees of the network have been absent due to the coronavirus.
Consequences: Hundreds of patients each week are in dire need of postponing surgery due to a lack of available beds.
thought ds Weiss. You have to know how to calculate the risks because there are people who will die because of not having surgery or treating oncology. ”
Many doctors are calling for the rules for infected workers to be relaxed.
“These rules for zero risk, we can no longer manage it, Dr. believess Gilbert Boucher, president of the Association of Emergency Medicine Specialists of Quebec. It is better to have an infected worker than to leave the sick person untreated and without care. “
January 13, 2021
- 1525 hospitalization
- 230 intensive care
May 12, 2020
- 1866 hospitalization
- 194 In intensive care
Although the health network is close to a ‘point of no return’, implementation of an intensive care prioritization protocol is not currently being considered.
Marie-Yves Bothelier, who led the work of the Department of Health and Social Services (MSSS) protocol, replied: “In this wave, intensive care is rising much less rapidly than in other waves, where I was more concerned.”
“But, without being alarmed, I don’t feel my head completely above the water. Danger is there,” she said cautiously.
The prioritization protocol was recently updated with the goal of intensive care beds reaching a capacity of more than 200%.
It will serve as a guide for caregivers in choosing who is eligible for treatment.
Several levels are planned according to the scenarios, but people with an 80% chance of dying will not have priority. Note that this protocol was not initiated in Quebec.
“Those who do not receive intensive care will not be abandoned; they will continue to receive other care, most appropriate to their condition, and feasible in context,” the Department of Health and Social Services wrote via email.
“We are in a state of tension, it takes a lot of regulation, but we are not at the level of the first wave,” analyzes Dr.s François Marquis, an intensive care specialist at Hospital Maisonneuve-Rosemont.
Last Tuesday, Health Minister Christian Duby indicated that the network was approaching a “point of no return”. in this subject, Newspaper He did not succeed in obtaining more details about what this step of “no return” means from the minister’s office.
All doctors interviewed had no idea what indicators qualify this breaking point.
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