Infection rates have been on an upward trend again in the past week and the need for COVID bed places in hospitals is growing, which means that if the North Estonia Medical Center (PERH) in Tallinn needs to increase the number of such bed places, scheduled treatments will be cut down.
Peep Talving, chief doctor and board member of PERH, said that the hospital is ready to open additional bed places for the treatment of COVID patients.
"Due to the shortage of staff, the re-profiling of beds happens at the expense of scheduled treatments," Talving said, adding that COVID bed places require double the number of personnel.
There were 39 COVID patients in PERH on Thursday, of whom nine were in Level 3 intensive care and seven on mechanical ventilation.
Scheduled treatments are down by 10 percent due to departments being in quarantine.
"At the present moment we are able to ensure treatment capability for patients with the COVID diagnosis as well as with other diagnoses in conjunction with central hospitals and general hospitals, but against the backdrop of the growing infection burden scheduled treatments will start to be cut down again," Talving said.
The stock of bed places is dynamic and it is adjusted in accordance with need. At the moment PERH has 26 bed places for COVID patients in general wards and 17 in intensive care. PERH also has a COVID department for psychiatric patients, for whom there are 20 bed places. In addition, the emergency medicine department is handling COVID patients.
By a decision of the hospital's COVID steering group on Friday, three additional intensive care bed places were opened.
The steering group reviews and rearranges the capabilities for scheduled and pandemic related treatments at the hospital on a daily basis.
PERH together with medics from all over Estonia is calling on everyone to observe the instructions for infection control and the restrictions imposed by the government.
"Only by acting together can we keep the healthcare system functioning and life outside hospitals open," Talving said.
Editor: Helen Wright