Only 23 critical care beds free last night as ICUs under intense pressure

ireland
An intensive care unit. © PA Wire/PA Images
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Muireann Duffy

As of 8pm last night, there were 23 critical care beds remaining in the State.

According to the HSE's Covid-19 daily operations update, of the 308 adult critical care beds which were staffed, 285 were occupied yesterday evening, 173 of which were being used to treat patients with Covid-19.

However, the HSE's director of acute services, Liam Woods, today confirmed there are 321 critical care beds now open in the Republic, with a surged capacity limit of up to 350.

The report on figures as of last night also notes that six adult critical care beds are currently reserved for patients, meaning they may be specialist beds not available for admission of general ICU patients.

Beds shortage

Thirteen of the State's hospitals had no critical care beds available, namely Kilkenny, Letterkenny, Nass, Navan, Portiuncula, Portlaoise, St Vincent's, Tallaght, Tullomore and Wexford hospitals, the Mater hospital in Dublin, Mercy in Cork and University Hospital Kerry.

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Cavan, Drogheda, Mayo, Connolly and Cork University Hospital each had one available critical care bed, while Galway University Hospital had two.

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Six hospitals had three available adult critical care beds, including Beaumont and University Hospitals Limerick and Waterford, while Sligo University Hospital had the highest number with four.

In the 24-hour period to 8am on January 13th, three deaths among patients with Covid-19 occurred in critical care units around the country and 97 patients with the virus required ventilators, in addition to a further three suspected Covid-19 ventilated cases.

According to yesterday's report, St James' in Dublin had the highest number of Covid-19 patients in critical care, with 21, followed by University Hospital Limerick, Galway University Hospital and Beaumont, who each have 12 cases in their ICUs.

Mayo and Sligo hospitals had the lowest number of adult Covid-19 patients in critical care, reporting one case each.

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