Intensive care beds occupied by patients with Covid can be below the red line for the week Coronavirus

According to estimates by the Portuguese Association of Hospital Administrators (APAH), between 200 and 208 patients with Covid can be admitted to intensive care units (ICU) next Friday. Numbers that are a positive sign in relation to the current reality and are below the red line that the specialists presented at the last meeting in the Infarmed of 245 beds occupied by these patients.

According to estimates by the Adaptt tool, based on the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) report last Thursday and a 2% decrease or increase in RT, they can be admitted to hospitals on the 19th of 873 and 935 patients with Covid, including 200 to 208 in the intensive care unit. “These are the lowest numbers we have had since estimates began at the end of October last year,” said President Alexandre Lourenço. They’re also cheaper than those published in the Directorate-General of Health’s bulletin on Friday: a total of 1,046 were hospitalized, including 266 in intensive care. There were also 577 new cases of infection and 15 deaths.

The scenarios outlined for the end of next week “are a good sign,” says Alexandre Lourenço, and in terms of ICU occupancy, they are below the red line of 85% of this type of beds occupied by patients with Covid. And the deflation, which starts next Monday, is not expected to result in more patients in the intensive care unit than estimated. This is despite the fact that the transmittability index (Rt) is expected to increase from the current 0.8, which leads to an increase in new cases of infection.

“It is expected that the number of patients in the intensive care unit will continue to decrease, as there is an interval of 15 days between a patient being infected and the need for intensive care,” explains Alexandre Lourenço, pointing out that the pressure on the hospitals is very high greater is reduced ”. “The question now arises as to whether the programmed activity that is already taking place, but with very low values ​​in relation to what is necessary, will be reactivated.”

The president of the APAH warns again that this has to be done in primary health care. The Ministry of Health created financial incentives for health centers to re-establish the personal consultations suspended due to the pandemic and stipulated that they be held during the extended hours during the week (until 10 p.m.) and Saturdays (until 2 p.m.).

“We asked for another problem, which was to create alternative solutions that could streamline user recommendation processes. For example with mammograms [para rastreio do cancro da mama] Women who did not take the exam can get an electronic prescription to take the exam in an agreement. If there were any warning signs, the radiologist reporting the examination could automatically refer to a consultation at the hospital, ”explains the president of APAH.

Relief for public health too

The pressure relief that is valued in hospitals is also expected in the public health sector. It is estimated that the 19th will require between 892 and 999 human resources for epidemiological investigations, initial contacts and follow-up contacts. “The values ​​they are giving us now are in line with the human resources available to us, which are around 1100,” says the official, referring to the number of trackers that the Ministry of Health reported in the last parliamentary commission.

Alexandre Lourenço recalls that this was an area that has failed in recent months and has resulted in thousands of retrospective epidemiological investigations. He also emphasizes that the control of the transmission chains “takes place not only with inquiries that have to be carried out within 24 hours, but also with the tracking of contacts”.

At the last meeting at Infarmed, experts defined a positive positivity rate of “persistent below 4%” as the target for a controlled pandemic, a delay in notification – more than 24 hours after the test was carried out – that does not exceed 10% of confirmed cases and has at least Quarantined and tracked 90% of cases and contacts within the first 24 hours of notification.

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