By Carmel Hayes
THE number of confirmed Covid patients at Portlaoise hospital has fallen slightly from 13 to 11.
Three virus patients remain critically ill in the hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) but the overall number of diagnosed cases has decreased by two.
Today’s HSE report says that frontline staff were caring for 11 Covid patients at the hospital as of 8pm last night. There were no suspected virus cases.
Portlaoise hospital had a record number of confirmed Covid patients on Wednesday night, with three of the 13 virus cases receiving treatment in ICU. During the first and second waves of the virus, the number of patients with confirmed Covid-19 at the hospital never exceeded eight.
All intensive care beds at the hospital were occupied last night, while there were eight vacant general beds.
Nationwide, the number of hospitalised Covid patients exceeded 1,000 for the first time yesterday. The number admitted to hospitals increased by 54 in just 12 hours, from 1,022 at 8am to 1,076 at 8pm.
Today’s HSE ‘Daily Operations Report for Acute Hospitals’ also shows that the number of Covid patients in ICUs nationwide exceeded 100 for the first time yesterday. At 8pm last night, 101 virus patients were in ICUs, including 62 on ventilators. There were five Covid deaths in hospital ICUs in the previous 24 hours.
The daily HSE report does not disclose Covid patient outcomes in individual hospitals, whether recoveries, deaths or transfers to other settings. These details are provided only on a national basis.
Covid vaccinations for frontline staff began yesterday at Portlaoise hospital and are continuing today, with the Pfizer-BioNTech jab administered by colleagues.
The hospital cancelled all non-urgent services earlier this week, as staff cope with the surge in Covid-19 cases. All non time-dependent work has stopped, including inpatient, day case and outpatient services.