Covid-19: RO authorities push for more intensive care beds as pressure on healthcare system mounts
Eight intensive care beds are no longer available after the oxygen installation breakdown at the mobile intensive care unit set up to extend the capacity of the Victor Babeş Hospital in Bucharest. Three patients died after the oxygen installation stopped functioning on April 12.
"We are working to find solutions for the intensive care beds […] We cannot use all the intensive care beds to treat coronavirus patients because we would have problems with the other emergencies," Arafat, the head of the Emergency Situations Department (DSU, said at a press conference held after the Victor Babeş breakdown.
Arafat said the number of available beds was constantly changing, but it was a low one.
"Today, there were few available beds. If there were 1,532 [Covid-19] patients admitted to intensive care, then at least 1,532 beds are available."
Monday's breakdown at the Victor Babeş mobile intensive care unit puts further pressure on the healthcare system at a time when the country is seeing a high number of Covid-19 patients admitted to ICUs. On April 11, 1,531 Covid-19 patients were admitted to intensive care units in the country, the highest number reported since the start of the pandemic. By Monday, April 12, the number dropped to 1,529.
The authorities have set a target of 1,600 ICU beds for Covid-19 patients.
This past weekend, the Foisor Orthopedic Hospital in Bucharest was evacuated to make room for Covid-19 patients. The decision came as no intensive care beds were available in the city, and after many patients were sent to other hospitals in the country. The hospital has 20 intensive care beds and another 200 beds where patients can be provided with oxygen. The hospital's patients were moved to other medical units.
"The pressure on hospitals is very big; the pressure on intensive care units is very big. We all need to help, and this is why I have said that the vaccination campaign is the only solution," prime minister Florin Cîţu said.
"We will continue to allocate resources, and we will try to have more intensive care beds, as I requested two months ago, because we are still fighting the pandemic. We cannot guarantee that such accidents will no longer happen. But to reduce the pressure and make sure something like this no longer happens, we need to have a successful vaccination campaign. The two go hand in hand," the PM said.
(Photo: Liviu Chirca/ Inquam Photos)