France: Number of intensive care patients almost at the high of the second wave

PublishedMarch 29, 2021, 05:13

There are currently 4872 corona patients in French intensive care units. Healthcare officials are now sounding the alarm.

Overcrowded in two weeks: Medical staff take care of a corona patient in a Paris hospital. (March 25, 2021)

REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

In France, the number of intensive care patients almost reached the high of the second corona wave in autumn. According to the health authorities, 4872 corona patients were treated in the intensive care units on Sunday, 81 more than the day before. At the height of the second wave in mid-November, there were 4903 patients in French intensive care units.

Healthcare officials in the greater Paris area sounded the alarm. “In ten, 15 days or three weeks” threatens an “overcrowding” of the hospitals, said Remi Salomon, president of the medical commission of the public hospitals in Paris, the broadcaster BFMTV. There is a “feeling of anger” among the doctors, they feared “finding themselves in a situation that forces them to take disaster medicine,” said Salomon.

“We will have another lockdown”

“We will have no choice but to lockdown again,” he said. “All the brakes should be pulled”, schools would also have to be closed before Easter.

41 directors for emergency medicine warned in an open letter in the newspaper “Journal du Dimanche” that they were preparing “for a“ triage ”because of the threat of overcrowding. “This triage will affect all patients, Covid or non-Covid.” Such a situation they would have “not even experienced during the worst attacks in recent years,” said the experts. “We cannot remain silent without violating the Hippocratic Oath that we once took,” declared the directors.

A triage is used when doctors have to decide which patients they prefer to treat with limited medical capacities. In the case of corona patients, the doctors would have to decide who should first be connected to a ventilator and who not.

(AFP / chk)

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