Portlaoise hospital ICU staff in PPE at the Covid-19 coalface
Frontline staff at Portlaoise hospital continue to admit new patients with Covid-19 the number of people sick with the virus in hospital in Laois and elsewhere in Ireland is half of what it was a year ago, according to figures from the HSE.
However, the figures also show that the pressure on staff to find beds for patients in the Laois hospital is the same as it was in the Omicron wave as it was during the deadly third wave of the virus in 2021.
The latest Covid-19 Daily Operations Update from the HSE's Performance Management and Improvement Unit reveals the pressures the virus is placing on hospitals on Laois and other counties at the half way point in January.
It shows that there were nine people in the Portlaoise hospital at 8pm on Sunday, January 16, 2022. There was one patient in ICU with the virus.
The number of cases has fluctuated through the Omicron wave at the Laois hospital in January but has so far not reached the level faced a year ago when mass vaccination had not begun.
The HSE Covid-19 Daily Operations Update for January 16, 2021 shows that there were 18 people being cared for at the Portlaoise hospital with the virus. Of those, four people were critically ill.
Nationally, there were 972 infected people in hospitals around the country by 8pm on January 16, 2022. Of these 88 were in ICU with Covid-19 with 61 patients on ventillators.
There were 1,872 sick with the virus at Laois and other Irish hospitals on January 16, 2021 as the third wave was peaking due to what was then known as the Kent variant. There were 186 confirmed cases in ICUs on the same day of whom 111 were on ventilators.
While the case numbers have improved, the same cannot be said of the bed capacity in Laois.
There were three general beds but no ICU beds available to staff on Sunday, January 16 2022 in the Portlaoise hospital.
Nationally, there were 194 available general beds and 17 adult ICU beds available to staff in hospitals around the country on January 16 this year. Services have had to be curtailed in hospitals due to the impact of the Omicron strain on staff numbers.
On the same date in 2021, there were two general beds but no ICU beds available to staff at the Laois hospital.
Nationally, there were 507 available general beds and 24 adult ICU beds available to staff in hospitals around the country on January 16 last year.
Services were more extensively cut back at hospitals last year due to the severity of the disease.
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