German Hospital Intensive Care Units ‘Overwhelmed’ With Covid-19 Patients

German Hospital Intensive Care Units ‘Overwhelmed’ With Covid-19 Patients.

German hospitals are already getting overwhelmed by the sharp rise of Covid-19 patients requiring intensive care as opposed to the early months of the pandemic, a hospital association head told local media.

“In states like Saxony, the number of patients in intensive care is five times higher than it was in April. Hospitals are either reaching their capacity limits or have already exceeded them,” Gerald Gass, the head of the German Hospital Federation (DKG), an umbrella group uniting regional hospital associations, told the newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

According to DKG, there are currently 40 per cent more Covid-19 patients in ICUs than during the first wave of the pandemic in spring. Furthermore, around 16,000 patients are being treated for the coronavirus in normal wards. When the first wave hit Germany, smaller hospitals were able to send their seriously-ill patients to better-equipped university clinics, but this now proves challenging as the clinics are oftentimes packed to the brim, the paper said.

The grim picture falls in line with earlier reports by German media that hospitals were struggling with the renewed influx of Covid-19 patients as the cases were rising across the country.

Germany’s Commissioner for Nursing Care, Andreas Westerfellhaus, called on people to postpone any plans that could be put off and warned of exhausted nursing staff. “Many intensive care nurses are already working to the limit, and they have rightly warned of a deteriorating situation,” Westerfellhaus told German national newspaper Bild. If countermeasures aren’t taken now, Germany could see hospital conditions similar to those in Italy during the first wave, he added.

Meanwhile, Saarland’s Prime Minister Tobias Hans has called the situation “frightening and alarming.” “Soon, many of the 1,900 hospitals in Germany could collapse,” said Hans.

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Tony Winterburn

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