Covid-19 rise at Portlaoise hospital which was left with no ICU or general beds overnight

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

coronavirus covid-19

Nurses are putting their lives on the line at the frontline of the Covid-19 in Portlaoise hospital

The number of patients receiving care for Covid-19 at Portlaoise rose in the past 24 hours and hospitalisations due to the virus continue to increase, according to official figures.

The update for Wednesday, published on Thursday, shows that three patients who have tested positive were being cared for at the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise as of 8 pm on Wednesday, October 7. This is a rise of one from Tuesday. None of the patients are receiving critical care. There is no suspect case in the hospital.

While Covid-19 numbers are low but rising, the hospital is very busy otherwise. The latest report shows that staff were having to manage with no vacant critical care beds and no general care beds by 8pm on Wednesday a drop from seven free on Tuesday evening when the report was filed. 

The hospital has rarely had a free ICU bed in recent months but staff have been able to deploy general care beds.

Paul Reid, HSE CEO, said on Thursday that some hospitals may have to start deferring or cancelling procedures and use some of surge capacity beds.

"Every single hospitalisation that we have to deal with in relation to Covid-19 has a very significant impact on the wider services that we are trying to sustain and provide," he said.

Mr Reid told a briefing that the number of hospitalisations and ICU Covid-19 cases are incomparable to when the pandemic hit earlier in the year because hospitals had shut down most areas of care.

"We were not delivering all non-urgent and non-Covid services, as we are now," he said. 

Portlaoise hospital is part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group (DMHG) which includes the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore.

It now has seven confirmed Covid-19 cases - down one on Tuesday. One is in ICU. Three patients were suspected of having the virus in the Offaly hospital which had one available ICU beds and one free general bed late Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Naas General Hospital continues to have five confirmed Covid-19 cases. There were three suspect cases. Two of the confirmed cases are receiving critical care. The Kildare facility 1 ICU bed and 14 general beds when the HSE compiled figures on Wednesday night.

Tallaght and St James' hospitals in Dublin are part of the same group. Both were less busy than Tuesday. Tallaght now has 21 confirmed cases and two suspected. It has just no ICU bed and 13 general bed available. St James' has 12 confirmed and one suspected cases of Covid-19. It has 30 general beds and one critical care bed available.

Nationally, there were 155 patients in hospitals across the country - up from 142 on Tuesday. There were 106 suspect cases by late Wednesday down from 134 the previous day. Of these two categories, 33 people were receiving critical care - 17 are ventilated. There were no deaths in ICU.