29 May 2022

Christmas on the Covid-19 Frontline - Portlaoise hospital ICU staff face festive season with beds full

Christmas on the Covid-19 Frontline - Portlaoise hospital ICU staff face festive season with beds full

Portlaoise ICU hospital staff ready for Covid-19

The frontline intensive care staff at Portlaoise hospital's ICU appealed to the public to 'stay safe' this Christmas as they prepare to help people survive Covid-19 after falling critically ill with the virus.

"Christmas in ICU Portlaoise Happy Christmas and happy New year stay safe," is the message tweeted out from staff as they face into the second Festive season coping with the coronavirus.

A picture tweeted shows the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise team decked out in PPE and ready to treat patients who come through the doors of the Laois hospital in need of intensive care.

While staff give the thumbs up, it's clear from the latest figures that they will be under pressure over Christmas if the latest HSE figures are to be a measure of the pressure on the system as Omicron spreads.

The COVID-19 Daily Operations Update Acute Hospitals has the latest figures from Portlaoise and other midlands and Irish hospitals at 8pm on Sunday, December 19.

Prepared by the HSE Performance Management and Improvement Unit, the report shows that there were nine patients with Covid-19 at the Laois hospital. Of these, four were critically ill in the hospital's ICU.

The Laois hospital had no general beds and no ICU beds on Sunday morning. There were no new Covid-19 admissions over the weekend.

The Laois hospital is part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group which includes hospitals in Tullamore, Naas and St James's and Tallaght in Dublin.

There were 11 Covid-19 positive patients in Tullamore of whom two were critically ill. It had no ICU beds and three general beds on Sunday morning.

Naas General had 11 Covid-19 patients on Sunday evening with three of them in ICU. The Kildare hospital had 10 general beds but no spare ICU beds on Sunday morning.

Tallaght is the busiest Covid-19 hospital in Ireland. It had 40 Covid-19 positive patients with eight in critical care. It had no general beds and one ICU bed available on Sunday morning.

St James's had 21 confirmed Covid-19 patients by 8pm Sunday. Of these, 13 were critically ill. While the hospital had 75 general care beds there was just one ICU bed free on Sunday morning.

Nationally, there were 448 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in all Irish acute hospitals on Sunday evening, December 19. There were 44 new admissions in the 24 hours to 8pm to hospitals around Ireland. There were 100 suspected Covid-19 cases.

Just under a third of the 304 people in ICUs around Ireland had Covid-19 on Sunday morning. Of those very sick with the virus, 70 were ventilated. The 24 hours to 10.30am on Sunday saw six new people admitted to hospital ICUs with the virus.

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