Surge of Covid patients putting pressure on emergency care in PERH

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Healthcare workers treating a COVID-19 patient in the North Estonia Medical Center. Source: Põhja-Eesti regionaalhaigla

The number of COVID-19 patients grew to a record-breaking 133 in the North Estonia Medical Center (PERH) over the weekend. This number of Covid patients could place in jeopardy non-pandemic emergency medical capacity, the hospital's chief of medicine warns.

"PERH has 133 COVID-19 patients today of whom 25 require tier three intensive care and 22 are on assisted breathing. These figures reflect the critical situation in all Estonian hospitals," Peep Talving, member of the board and chief of medicine at PERH, said. "Unfortunately, we also had three deaths in the last 24 hours, with the youngest patient to die just 51 years of age," he added.

Talving said that hospitalization of Covid patients has spiked and will continue to grow, whereas the increase is now unchecked.

"We are especially concerned when it comes to emergency care," Talving said. He explained that PERH remains in touch with hospitals in the norther region for exchange of patients based on available resources, while the need has now been created to send patients to southern hospitals for which agreements are in place. "But it is just a matter of time before they run out of resources too," Talving said.

This has placed in jeopardy non-pandemic emergency care, next to planned treatment being dialed back, the chief of medicine said.

"Planned treatment has been suspended, while non-pandemic emergency care is now in danger," Talving explained. "The most important thing today is to do everything we can to break the chain of infection and slow down the spread. Every individual must take personal responsibility and contribute by limiting contact with others and working to protect their next of kin, colleagues, friends and themselves."

"As a regional hospital, PERH offers top tier treatment, including treatment of victims of major accidents, burn victims, the entire spectrum of severe trauma, oncology and hematology, multimodal treatment, high-tech vascular surgery, cardiac surgery, thoracic surgery and neurosurgery. These capacities are already in jeopardy because of the number of Covid patients," Talving emphasized.

"We thank for their patience patients whose planned treatment has been postponed and who have been forced to wait longer than usual for procedures," Talving said.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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