Figures suggest urgent action needed to increase Ireland's Intensive Care Units

Michaela O'Dea

Reporter:

Michaela O'Dea

Experts suggest that Ireland's Intensive Care Units will not be able to cater for the volumes of severe Covid-19 cases

Experts suggest that Ireland's health system and especially intensive care units could experience severe pressure as the amount of critical Covid-19 cases rise. 

The European Centre of Disease Control (ECDC) released a detailed report documenting the virus itself, timelines, and the methods of containing the virus. 

The ECDC stated that a pivotal factor in keeping a Covid-19 infected patient alive, is the volume of Intensive Care Unit beds available (ICU), in proportion to the population. 

In Ireland, there are 5.6 beds per 100,000 people. This represents under half of what countries within the European Union (EU) have available. The ECDC stated that "emergency wards and intensive care wards are likely to exceed capacity very rapidly if service delivery is not reorganised".

Hospital staff preparedness and community awareness represent two more key factors in patient survival. The availability of protective gear for frontline workers, as well as up to date information will aid the health services in treating the patients. 

It is estimated that approximately 80% of confirmed Covid-19 cases will be mild. However, it is the 20% of severe cases that will overwhelm our health system. 

People are repeatedly told to practice physical distancing and to continuously wash their hands.