Thirteen hospitals with no available critical care beds according to HSE

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Muireann Duffy

Thirteen hospitals around the country had no available critical care beds overnight as hospitals continue to struggle with the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As of 6.30pm yesterday, there were 27 vacant adult critical care beds in the State after the number of staffed beds increased from 308 to 316.

The data from the HSE's Covid-19 daily operations update shows St James' and St Vincent's hospitals and Galway University Hospital were among those without a vacant critical care bed, while a further four hospitals; the Mater, South Tipperary and Tullamore hospitals and Cork University Hospital (CUH) had just one ICU bed each.

In the 24-hour period to 8am on Thursday, five people with Covid-19 had died in critical care units around the country, increasing from three in the previous 24 hours.

On Thursday evening, there were 101 patients with Covid-19 on ventilators, with three additional suspected cases of the virus requiring ventilation. On Wednesday, the confirmed cases requiring ventilation was 97.

Confirmed cases in critical care


The HSE update confirmed 171 cases of the virus in the State's critical care units, with a further six cases suspected.

On Thursday evening, Beaumont had the highest number of available adult critical care beds with six, followed by University Hospital Waterford with three, and University Hospital Limerick (UHL), Sligo University Hospital, and Mullingar, Mayo, Drogheda, Connolly and Cavan hospitals, which each had two.

Fifteen of the country's critical care beds were also reserved as specialists beds, making them unavailable for admission of general ICU patients.

St James' Hospital in Dublin continues to have the highest number of Covid-19 cases in its critical care unit, reporting 20 cases, while two additional confirmed cases in CUH has brought them alongside UHL with the second highest figures in the country, both now with 13 cases in critical care.

There was only one paediatric critical care bed occupied by a patient with Covid-19 and eight such beds were vacant between Temple Street and Crumlin children's hospitals, including three reserved for specialist care.

The HSE's chief executive Paul Reid confirmed today there are now 1,846 patients with Covid-19 in hospital. Mr Reid added that "people are extremely sick with this virus" and despite "hopeful trends" on transmission levels, the virus is still hugely prevalent.

At 8am yesterday, there were 532 general beds, excluding critical care, unoccupied in Irish hospitals, but none at Cavan and St Vincent's hospitals.

According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives' Organisation's (INMO) daily trolley watch figures, 139 patients were awaiting a bed in hospital this morning, 125 of whom were waiting in emergency departments around the country.

UHL had the largest number of patients waiting on trolleys (39), followed by CUH (23) and Sligo (16).

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