Fewer than one intensive care bed available per hospital
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Fewer than one intensive care bed available per hospital

Credit: Belga

Approximately 96% of the approved intensive care beds in Belgium are occupied, the Federal Public Health Service (FPS) said on Thursday. There are only 86 beds available, or fewer than one per hospital.

The coronavirus epidemic continues to put pressure on hospitals. On Wednesday, 3,049 people were hospitalised due to Covid-19, 941 of whom were in intensive care.

But the coronavirus is not the only reason to be hospitalised in intensive care, and the pressure on this service is becoming critical.

The transfer of patients between hospitals intended to balance that pressure does not appear to be a solution, given the full occupation of all hospitals. There is now little room for manoeuvring.

Patient discharges do not compensate for the influx of new patients either, according to the FPS Health.

“The peak in the number of Covid patients in intensive care units has not yet been reached,” the public service warned.

To relieve the hospitals, some planned operations are postponed. However, those will still have to be performed at a later date.

The FPS said that creating additional beds is difficult, “because no additional staff are available. The current staff has been working at full capacity for a year and this requires them to do the maximum.”

The Brussels Times