Which patients are in the intensive care unit?

The number of new corona infections remains high throughout Germany? despite all lockdown measures. In Lower Franconia, too, the seven-day incidence on Wednesday was 118.8, well above the target value of 50. For many clinics in the region, this means that there is no relaxation in sight, on the contrary. “The big challenge remains the care of intensive care patients,” says Dr. Matthias Held, lung specialist and medical director at the Würzburg Mitte Clinic. Are there any bottlenecks in the region?

The look into that Intensivregister, in which nationwide capacities are recorded, showed for this Wednesday, January 13th: In Bavaria there were 466 intensive care beds free and a total of 2924 occupied. According to the register, 61 intensive care beds were still free and 396 occupied in Lower Franconia in the morning. As of Wednesday, 77 Covid patients were treated in intensive care in the administrative district.

University clinic: number of non-corona intensive care patients is increasing

However, these numbers are only a snapshot; the situation in intensive care units can change every hour, according to experts. In addition, different care levels are recorded in the register of intensive care beds. For example, beds for intensive care monitoring could also be reported, but in which no invasive ventilation would be possible, says Josefine Astl, spokeswoman for the Rhön Clinic in Bad Neustadt (district of Rhön-Grabfeld).

In the Rhön Clinic, 41 of the 43 intensive care beds are currently occupied ?? three of them with Covid sufferers. After a significant increase in corona cases after Christmas due to outbreaks in nursing homes, the situation has stabilized at the moment, said Astl. The staff could handle the patient volume.

The situation is similar at the Würzburg Mitte Clinic (KWM). There are basically 20 intensive care beds with ventilation capacity available. “As of Monday evening, all of them were occupied,” says Medical Director Dr. Matthias Held. Nevertheless, the clinic was able to act: in an emergency, patients could have been transferred to the normal ward.

“The big challenge remains the care of intensive care patients.”

Dr. Matthias Held, lung specialist and medical director at the Würzburg Mitte Clinic

In the Würzburg University Clinic, too, more than three quarters of the intensive care beds are currently occupied ?? 13 corona patients receive intensive medical care here. The situation in the intensive care units has not eased, says the medical director Professor Jens Maschmann. The reason: The number of patients with other acute serious illnesses has increased.

Professor Hauke ​​Rensing, Head of Anesthesia and Operative Intensive Care Medicine at the Leopoldina Hospital in Schweinfurt, does not want to speak of the all-clear either. Compared to Christmas time, the corona situation at the clinic is a little better. Nonetheless, the numbers could rise again quickly. According to Rensing, a total of 41 of the 48 intensive care beds in the Leopoldina Hospital are currently occupied, two of them with Covid patients.

Almost everywhere in the region, the proportion of corona sufferers in the intensive care units is relatively low. In the Main-Spessart and Haßberge districts, for example, according to the intensive care register, only one Covid patient was treated in intensive care this Wednesday. Nevertheless, the intensive care units there are busy and the beds are occupied. Why?

The demand from several Lower Franconian clinics shows that the intensive care patients are often people with severe lung or cardiovascular diseases or strokes. In addition, there are, for example, seriously injured people after accidents or patients who have had major surgical interventions.

Covid sufferers often need intensive care for weeks and months

Or severe Covid 19 cases. And these are by far not only very old seniors with multiple illnesses, says lung specialist Matthias Held. The age of Covid intensive care patients at the Würzburg Mitte Clinic is currently 44 to 76 years. Also, not all those affected suffered from previous illnesses. Corona intensive care patients who are just over 40 years old are currently also being treated at the Würzburg University Clinic. The average age of corona intensive care patients in the Rhön Clinic and Leopoldina Hospital is currently over 70 and 75 years respectively.

The problem in all hospitals: A corona infection is often tough, and those who become seriously ill sometimes have to receive intensive care for a long time. It is an average of 20 days at KWM, and the Rhön Clinic even speaks of up to three months. The result: The intensive care beds are simply needed longer than with many other intensive care patients.

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