The increase in coronavirus infections that began in the last days of November began to translate that month into a greater number of serious pictures. As a consequence, the therapy bed occupancy intensive with patients with Covid-19 almost tripled in the last four weeks and the deaths grew a 299%.
The health staff, exhausted and stressed, closely follows the data and is on alert for the difficulties that, they say, they will have to face if this situation is not managed to stop in a short time.
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What happened in the first two waves of coronavirus with the intensive care occupation and deaths
In the two previous waves, when first Gamma and Lambda, and then Delta were predominant, about 2% of infections required intensive care. At the peak of the second wave, with a few 320,000 active cases, there came to be 7,969 beds of Intensive Care Units (ICUs) occupied with coronavirus patients.
That same week the peak death toll for the disease, with a weekly average of 603 daily deaths. Argentina was still far from reaching an ideal level of immunization, and that is why the Government had decreed a new period of isolation weeks before in order to save time and advance with the vaccination campaign.
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What worries health personnel is that with Omicron the same trend is maintained, taking into account that this Thursday they reported 894,656 active cases (three times more than with Delta). In other words, if Argentina reached one million active cases, 20,000 people would require hospitalization and there is no health system that can resist it.
However, thanks to vaccination advance, of the 894,656 current active cases, 2406 are requiring critical care care. That means that 0.27% need an intensive care bed, similar to what happens in other countries of the world where Ómicron still hits hard.
However, both figures are on an upward curve and, in addition to stress and exhaustion, ICU staff are the first to become infected, so there is a high absenteeism in health centers, added to those who are trying to rest during the holidays Of summer.
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In the case of deaths, were up 299% in the last four weeks, but if you take the last seven days, the rise reached the 76%. Between this Wednesday and Thursday, deaths from Covid-19 almost doubled in just 24 hours, going from 75 to 139, with several that occurred more than ten days ago and that were recently uploaded to the Health Information System (SISA) .
What is the current situation of intensive care units
According to the latest report from the Ministry of Health, this Thursday they reported 2406 people with coronavirus admitted to intensive care, the highest number in more than four months. If compared to the previous week, the increase was 66%, but in relation to the registered four weeks ago, the climb reached the 151%.
“Nobody wants the Omicron scale to be a record number week by week, but it is like that and ICU beds are admitting patients, added to the non-Covid. Today, everyone knows about the work of health personnel, especially in the intensive care area, but perhaps what is not known is that every time we are less “, indicated the Argentine Society of Intensive Care (SATI) in a statement.
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The intensivists have been warning: the burnout syndrome, or extreme exhaustion, is getting higher and they no longer have much margin to cover the potholes that are generated in ICUs.
For this reason, they ask that the health authorities “take the pertinent measures to prevent an overflow of ICUs, in a system stressed for more than two years and vulnerable long before the pandemic “, and the Argentines”extreme preventive measures, not expose to permanent risk and have a complete scheme of vaccination”.
With close to a million active cases, not exposing oneself to the risk is increasingly complex, especially with overflowing tourist centers, but preventive measures are the tool to which they appeal to minimize the chances of contagion.
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Refering to vaccination, this week Argentina reached the goal of exceeding 85% of its population inoculated with at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine and 74% with the complete scheme. This strengthens the country to deal with Ómicron by reducing serious cases.
According to official figures, six out of ten hospitalized are not vaccinated and one in ten received a single dose. In other words, 70% of the internees did not start the immunization schedule or did not complete it. Today all health strategies are focused on this population, in Argentina and in the world.