By Sue-Ann Wayow
IN the past 16 days, the demand for Intensive Care Unit ICU beds has increased greatly.
This trend been consistent since October 19 says Principal Medical Officer Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards.
Speaking at the Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 update on Wednesday she said as at 8am, there were 29 Covid-19 positive patients waiting to be warded in the parallel healthcare system across the four regional health authorities in Trinidad awaiting admission into hospitals. Six were awaiting ICU beds.
Of the six, none were fully vaccinated with some too critically ill to even be transferred even though beds were available.
Of the 29 patients, 25 of those were not fully vaccinated representing 86%.
To date, there are 58 operational ICU beds and there were 48 beds occupied which was one of the lowest ICU occupancy rates in the past 16 days, that is 83%.
Dr Abdool-Richards said out of those 48 patients, 46 were not fully vaccinated representing 96%.
The ICU in Tobago overnight was filled to capacity with five beds being filled, the PMO noted.
She said, “The ratio of severely and critically ill patients, requiring hospital care to those who are recovering has increased significantly over the last two months from three times as many severely and critically ill patients to now 11 times severely and critically ill patients.”
She said that three of the most recent deaths from Monday to Wednesday, persons contacted the Global Medical Response Trinidad and Tobago GMRTT ambulance service but the patients denied to be transferred into the parallel healthcare system, however, their condition worsened at home within a day where one passed away and the other two who were eventually admitted, also died.
Most patients who were fully vaccinated against the virus if hospitalised would make it to the ward level or be discharged she said.
She also said that for the past 110 days, the overall occupancy of the parallel healthcare system continued under 40% and it was at 36% on Wednesday morning.
Dr Abdool-Richards also emphasised that every person in the parallel healthcare system was receiving the care needed to the best of the medical professionals’ abilities.
She said, “Every patient who has required ICU level care, has been managed according to the regional health authorities protocols on Covid positive patients requiring ICU or HDU care. The Accident and Emergency Department patients are managed if too unstable by the ICU teams attached to the relevant hospital and they have been receiving the required care including ventilation as needed.”
The PMO again pleaded, “It is now the responsibility of each and every one of you, please take the Ministry of Health offer up with respect to the vaccination.”