Intensive care units face ‘grim' situation despite fall in Covid cases

Covid, Operations, NHS, Nottingham Hospital, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Intensive care units remain under pressure across the NHS (PA)

Hospital intensive care units remain under substantial pressure despite a fall in Covid cases, the president of the Intensive Care Society has warned, as more NHS trusts cancel operations across England.

Stephen Webb, a consultant in intensive care and deputy medical director at the Royal Papworth Hospital Trust, told The Independent many ICUs were facing a “grim” situation despite the dramatic drop in infections in recent weeks.

With the numbers of Covid patients in critical care at just under 900 across England, he said this represents more than 20 per cent of intensive care capacity at a time when the NHS was facing a summer crisis in non-Covid emergency demand, as well as pressure to do more operations to cut its growing waiting list.

His comments come as more operations have been cancelled at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals and at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust.

Overall the number of Coronavirus patients in hospital across England has now dropped below 5,000 and follows a dramatic drop in reported positive cases since the end of July.

Dr Webb told The Independent: “Cases of Covid infections are coming down but that’s not having much of an impact on hospitals and on intensive care units yet. The situation in ICUs is pretty grim at the moment and it’s grim for a completely different reasons from wave one and two of the pandemic.”

He explained that in previous waves the NHS stopped a lot of its planned surgery in the face of huge numbers of Covid patients, with many ICUs doubling or even tripling in size with a peak of more than 4,100 patients in critical care in January.

Dr Webb said the NHS was instead now facing a “triple whammy” of pressures including an increase in non-Covid emergency patients adding: “A&Es are full, and these are sick patients. Some of them will need ICU beds.” Alongside this he said was the need to do more planned surgery to recover waiting lists.

The increase in Covid cases recently among younger people meant those in ICU were staying longer than normal, sometimes many weeks while at the same time many NHS staff were still being forced to isolate, are off sick while others have booked annual leave which was delayed throughout the pandemic.

“It’s because of these factors that pressure in ICUs is still a problem,” he said adding: “The only way to live with Covid and cope with the demand is to increase critical care capacity in the NHS.”

In recent weeks hospitals across England have been forced to delay operations including for cancer patients. Hospitals affected include those in Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester, London, Newcastle, Barnsley and London.

At the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle Upon Tyne, the trust has seen huge pressure on its A&E department with over 60 Covid patients admitted and 17 in intensive care. The trust has cancelled a number of non-urgent operations.

The trust chief executive Dame Jackie Daniels said: “Our emergency department and assessment suite have experienced a pressured 24 hours after weeks of unprecedented patient numbers. The team are facing relentless demand but are continuing to respond with outstanding care, kindness and compassion.”

In Nottingham, two wards for routine surgeries have been taken over to cope with an increase in sick patients. Three wards in total have now been converted to help deal with the pressures. The trust has around 85 Covid patients in beds with 18 in intensive care with a small number of operations being cancelled.

The Independent has been told many of those in critical care are young, health and most are unvaccinated.

Deputy chief operating officer for Nottingham University Hospitals, Duane McLean, said: “We have made the decision to temporarily change the use of some of our wards to help care for increasing numbers of patients with Covid-19.

“We continue to see more admissions to our hospitals, as well as an increase in demand in our emergency department, but we are still carrying out the vast majority of operations and urge everyone to get vaccinated and access the care they need by using the NHS 111 online service.”

News Related

OTHER NEWS

It's Idaho's first time activating crisis standards of care. Here's what that means

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare this week activated crisis standards of care across the state for the first time as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surge. © ... Read more »

Here's the latest on COVID-19 vaccines

© Photograph by Adam Glanzman, Bloomberg via Getty Images A healthcare worker places a band-aid on a patient after administering a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at Boston Medical ... Read more »

EXPLAINER: What are 'Crisis Standards of Care?'

1 / 3Virus Outbreak HospitalFILE – In this Aug. 31, 2021 file photo a R.N. holds the hand of a COVID-19 patient in the Medical Intensive care unit (MICU) at ... Read more »

MasterChef's Monica Galetti says it was motherhood that mellowed her

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo The recipes in Monica Galetti’s latest cookbook, collated from family favourites, are written with clarity, simplicity and concision.  No tricky techniques, none of ... Read more »

Some U.S. hospitals forced to ration care amid staffing shortages, COVID-19 surge

1 / 5Some U.S. hospitals forced to ration care amid staffing shortages, COVID-19 surgeFILE PHOTO: Tour of SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital’s ICU in Oklahoma City By Julia Harte and ... Read more »

FDA vaccine advisers vote to recommend booster doses of Covid-19 vaccine in people 65 and older and those at high risk

Vaccine advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration voted Friday to recommend emergency use authorization of a booster dose of Pfizer’s vaccine six months after full vaccination in people ... Read more »

Pfizer recalls all lots of Chantix for high levels of nitrosamine, which can increase cancer risk

Pfizer is voluntarily recalling all lots of its popular anti-smoking drug Chantix for high levels of nitrosamine, which can increase the risk of cancer. According to the notice posted on ... Read more »

In 16 States, 35% or More Residents Now Obese: CDC

© Provided by HealthDay © Provided by HealthDay THURSDAY, Sept. 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) — America’s waistline keeps widening. On Wednesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced ... Read more »

NIH Spending Nearly $470 Million on Long-Haul COVID Study

© Provided by HealthDay © Provided by HealthDay THURSDAY, Sept. 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. National Institutes of Health is spending nearly $470 million to study the long-term ... Read more »

Lower Blood Sugar Quickly (and Safely!) With These 4 Doctor-Approved Tips

© AzmanJaka – Getty Images Learn how to lower blood sugar quickly with these endocrinologist-approved strategies. If you have diabetes, these tips will really help. More than 34 million people ... Read more »

Best Electric Can Opener

© Credits: Image by CatLane on iStock Man opening a can of food with an electric can opener We’ve all grabbed a rusty can opener from the kitchen drawer and ... Read more »

Celebrity Masterchef 2021: Paralympian Kadeena Cox is crowned WINNER

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Kadeena Cox, MBE was crowned Celebrity MasterChef 2021 champion on Friday as she reigned victorious against Joe Swash and Megan McKenna on the finale. ... Read more »

Best Measuring Cups

© Credits: Image by LumiNola on iStock Cropped shot of a mother and daughter spending quality time while baking at home Measuring out ingredients can be a little tedious, which ... Read more »

Best Cupcake Box

© Credits: Image by Artfoliophoto on iStock A box of cupcakes Looking for a way to both show off and transport your cakes without getting them ruined? This is where ... Read more »

Bad managers ‘never get fired' in the NHS, complain doctors

© Peter Byrne/PA A busy NHS ward – Peter Byrne/PA Ten years ago, NHS super-managers with six-figure salaries, expense accounts and hefty pensions were a rare breed in the country’s ... Read more »

St. Jude Patients Fighting Cancer Bond with Inspiration4 Crew Live from Space: 'It's Just Amazing'

Inspiration4 is living up to their name hundreds of miles away in space. On Thursday, the all-civilian crew — including commander Jared Isaacman, 38, medical officer Hayley Arceneaux, 29, pilot ... Read more »

What to Do for a Stuffy Nose

A stuffy nose is usually nothing to worry about; it’s mostly just uncomfortable, with varying symptoms. “For some people, it’s having a lot of mucus in the nose. For others, ... Read more »

BRIEF-Exelixis Announces U.S. FDA Approval Of Cabometyx (Cabozantinib) For Patients With Previously Treated Radioactive Iodine-Refractory Differentiated Thyroid Cancer

Sept 17 (Reuters) – Exelixis Inc: * EXELIXIS ANNOUNCES U.S. FDA APPROVAL OF CABOMETYX® (CABOZANTINIB) FOR PATIENTS WITH PREVIOUSLY TREATED RADIOACTIVE IODINE-REFRACTORY DIFFERENTIATED THYROID CANCER * EXELIXIS INC – IS ... Read more »

Why Adaptimmune Therapeutics Was Sinking This Week

© Provided by The Motley Fool Why Adaptimmune Therapeutics Was Sinking This Week What happened In an about-face from its impressive performance last week, Adaptimmune Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ADAP) stock declined ... Read more »

FDA Panel Backs Pfizer Booster for 65 and Up, Rejects Broad Use

(Bloomberg) — The Covid-19 vaccine booster shot proposed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE should be given to older Americans and those at high risk, a panel of expert advisers ... Read more »

Kaley Cuoco Just Crushed This Seriously Intense Pre-Emmys Workout

© Provided by Shape Getty Images There’s no question that Kaley Cuoco is one of the busiest stars in Hollywood. With two films currently in the works as well as ... Read more »

7 Constipation Symptoms You Need to Know, According to Experts

© Provided by Health.com Pexels / Polina Zimmerman Everybody poops, but not everybody poops well. Constipation is a condition that means you’re not having a healthy number of bowel movements ... Read more »

Giddy Emma Thompson enjoys a family night out with husband Greg Wise

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Emma Thompson appeared in a giddy mood as she stepped out with husband Greg Wise and their daughter Gaia for The Icon Ball at ... Read more »

US coronavirus: FDA advisers first rejected Pfizer's booster application -- but then voted to recommend a third shot for certain Americans

Advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration on Friday voted unanimously to recommend emergency use authorization of Pfizer’s booster shot six months after full vaccination in Americans 65 and ... Read more »

Kale that is less bitter is the sweet taste of Brexit

© Provided by The Telegraph Kale The UK is set to cut red tape on gene-edited crops in a post-Brexit move that could see products like less-bitter kale hit British ... Read more »

San Francisco mayor caught flouting COVID-19 restrictions again

e © Provided by INSIDER Mayor London Breed speaks at a rally in San Francisco in this March 13, 2021 file photo. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File) AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File ... Read more »

Life-saving Covid treatment given to Donald Trump available on NHS from next week

© Win McNamee/Getty Images Donald Trump received doses of Ronapreve when he was admitted to hospital with Covid-19 last year – Win McNamee/Getty Images A treatment for coronavirus which cuts ... Read more »

Why athletes find themselves needing hip surgery in midlife, and how hip resurfacing gives them a second shot at sporting glory

Even the most finely engineered machines experience wear and tear over time. Our bodies are no exception. One key joint in particular is subject to damage through overuse: the hip. ... Read more »

The FDA's expert panel backs COVID-19 booster shots for adults 65 and older and those at highest risk of severe disease

© Reuters The federal government has provided COVID-19 relief in numerous forms, from free vaccines to economic programs. Reuters An expert panel recommended that the FDA authorize booster shots for ... Read more »

FDA advisory group rejects Covid boosters for most, limits to high-risk groups

The vote in favor of boosters came after the committee overwhelmingly rejected recommending the extra shots for the general population. Read more »

‘The immensity of our loss': 650,000 white flags show American lives lost to Covid

Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters A sea of more than 650,000 white flags is lining the National Mall near the Washington monument in the nation’s capitol to represent the American lives lost ... Read more »

Celebrity MasterChef 2021 crowns winner in grueling final

Celebrity MasterChef 2021 spoilers follow. Kadeena Cox has followed up her gold medals at the Tokyo Paralympic Games as the Celebrity MasterChef 2021 winner. The parasport athlete became this year’s ... Read more »

U.S. Booster Plan Scaled Back; U.K Eases Travel: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — The Covid-19 vaccine booster shot proposed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE should be given to a smaller group of people who are the most vulnerable to serious ... Read more »

How to lose weight with PCOS, and the best diet to help relieve symptoms

© Flashpop/Gerry Images How to lose weight with PCOS, and the best diet to help relieve symptoms To lose weight with PCOS, you should choose foods that are low in ... Read more »

Health minister at centre of cronyism allegations sacked in reshuffle

© AFP via Getty Images The Tory peer has been sacked in Boris Johnson’s reshuffle – AFP via Getty Images A health minister at the centre of a series of ... Read more »