Latvian emergency team struggle to find spots in intensive care

The weekend was very tense for the Emergency Medical Service (NMPD), as they faced issues finding spots for intensive care patients with Covid-19, NMPD Head Liene Cipule told Latvian Radio August 6.

Cipule said that the number of patients needing intensive treatment has increased. Patient placement at Riga East Clinical University Hospital had to be rescheduled, as intensive therapy beds filled more rapidly than previously. However, regional hospitals in Valmiera and Rēzekne are only starting to accept Covid-19 patients Monday.

Cipule said the future was not looking positive. According to her, in two to three weeks, non-emergency services will have to be restricted again in hospitals. The delta type of the Covid-19 virus could complicate the situation in hospitals because there are signs that the course of the disease could be more severe. Intensive therapy beds could be occupied for longer periods since the delta type is more prone to affect younger people who are healthier and can fight for their life longer.

“Technical readiness is higher – the number of lung venting devices has been increased by 90%, and beds and custom departments have also been purchased. What I am concerned about is the moral readiness [..]. Yes - the employees have burned out. And hospital colleagues also note that, of course, it is much more difficult to motivate [staff]. [..] If we had more public awareness and support for what we are talking about, what the medics are talking about, it might be easier,” Cipule said.

Hospitals are aware of the reality and are preparing for a large influx of Covid-19 patients in the autumn and winter months. That is why hospitals are creating new Covid-19 departments or redeploying beds within existing structures. Vidzemes Hospital in Valmiera and the Rēzekne hospital are ready to take patients on Monday. Elsewhere, hospitals are preparing. Daugavpils has already announced an internal emergency and restricted a few services to provide beds for Covid-19 patients, Latvian Radio reports.

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