CORK University Hospital has the capacity to add 16 critical care beds if needed but this surge capacity has not been required yet, it has been revealed.
CUH has been ‘congested’ in recent days with staff off sick due to Covid-19 or awaiting test results, according to a text sent from a senior hospital doctor to GPs across Cork.
Meanwhile, the HSE daily report revealed that there have been no critical care beds - intensive care unit (ICU) beds - available at the hospital on several days in recent weeks.
However, a spokesperson for CUH toldthat the hospital has capacity for an additional 16 ICU beds if required on top of its usual 20 ICU beds.
Another spokesperson said those additional 16 ICU beds have not been required as yet.
“To date, CUH has not implemented its surge protocols,” he said.
revealed this week that a number of staff at a Covid-19 unit at CUH have been on sick leave after contracting Covid-19 or as they await test results for the virus.
A text message from a senior CUH doctor informed GPs across Cork on Wednesday that the staff work in the acute medical assessment unit (AMU), which has been used to house Covid-19 cases.
As a result, the unit cannot be used for assessments due to concerns of more contamination and CUH outpatient appointments will be moved to online platforms only where possible.
In the text message to GPs, the doctor admitted CUH has been “congested”.
“We have reviewed and both admitted and discharged a high number of Covid-19 patients,” the doctor said, informing GPs that all new patients at CUH are being assessed through a single hub in the Emergency Department.
More than 1,000 cases of Covid-19 have been reported from Cork in the last 14 days, accounting for more than a third of all of the cases of the virus identified here since the beginning of the pandemic.
New figures show 1,137 Covid-19 cases were reported in Cork in the 14 days up to October 13th.
The latest HSE figures show there were 238 patients being treated for Covid-19 in hospitals across Ireland on Thursday, an increase of 24 on the day before.
The number of people in intensive care units fell slightly to 29 on Thursday.
On Wednesday evening, there were 100 suspected Covid-19 cases in Irish hospitals - 11 of these were in ICUs.