Tartu University Hospital suspends scheduled treatment from Monday
Scheduled treatments will be suspended at the University of Tartu Hospital from Monday (October 25) as the number of admitted coronavirus patients continues to rise.
The hospital's board announced the decision on Tuesday and more beds will be needed in the coming weeks.
Dr. Andres Kotsar, treatment manager, said the move is "unavoidable" and will affect cardiology, pulmonology and neurology among others.
"This means that we have to postpone the operations, procedures and examinations of many people waiting for hospital treatment. Without limiting scheduled treatment, it will not be possible to ensure both conventional and intensive care capabilities for COVID-19 patients and other emergency hospitalizations," he said.
The measures will be reviewed on a weekly basis.
"The situation with the spread of COVID-19 is extremely serious. Healthcare is in a critical situation," Kotsar said, encouraging people to look after their health and to get vaccinated.
Yesterday, it was reported coronavirus is also spreading inside the hospital.
Estonia has an R replication rate of more than 1 which means the infection rate is continuing to grow.
As of Wednesday morning, 413 patients are being treated in hospital and the Health Board has said if the number rises to 650 the situation will be "very bad".
The vaccination rate among adults is 68 percent.
Coronavirus situation at Tartu Universitu Hospital
As of Monday morning, there were 76 patients requiring isolation at the hospital in Estonia's second biggest city.
Fourteen were in intensive care and 11 were on mechanical ventilation. One patient required extracorporeal circulation.
There are an additional 93 coronavirus patients who require treatment but do not need to be in isolation. This is 16 percent of all admitted patients.
Before COVID-19, there were 11 beds in the infectious diseases department of the hospital and this has been increased to 40. There is also a 20-bed ward in the lung clinic.
Two of three adult intensive care units have been adapted for intensive care of COVID-19 patients, which can treat up to 19 patients requiring mechanical ventilation.
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Editor: Helen Wright