for 25% of ICU beds occupied by coronavirus patients. Specifically, it is at 35.71%, which is why it is at a point that the Ministry of Health indicators consider very high risk in the evolution of the pandemic.
It is the hospital center with the fewest intensive care beds in the region, a total of 14. That means that any spike in the complication of covid cases immediately raises the percentage of intensive care occupation. Therefore, it has been at similar levels of occupancy since the last week in August, with the exception of the fourth week in September. In fact, in the update carried out by the Extremadura Health Service (SES) on Friday of last week, of the six patients in the ICU of Plasencia, five are admitted because of the virus.
In the rest of the hospitals in the region, the pressure exerted by covid patients is much less, although in all it is above 15%. The regional average of ICU beds occupied by coronavirus patients is 16.6%, as stated on Friday by the Minister of Health, José María Vergeles, who used the report of the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES) . In that same document it is noted that the national average is almost ten points higher than that of Extremadura.
The most up-to-date data from the Extremadura Health Service (SES) raise the occupancy of the ICUs by covid patients to 17.83%. This is the highest percentage of the entire second wave.
The region is at very high risk in the indicators of cumulative incidence of the disease at fourteen and seven days. The first amounts to 512.5, when the limit is 250, and the second reaches 304.67, well above the 125 mark. That is, Extremadura not only exceeds, but also doubles the accumulated incidence rates that they are considered very high risk.
512.5 is the accumulated incidence of covid at 14 days in Extremadura. This is one of the indicators that Health uses to assess risk and places the region at a very high level
The indicator of global positivity is also framed at very high risk – from 15% -. In the latest CCAES report, it is reported that 15.53% of the virus detection tests carried out in the region during the week of October 20-26 were positive.
At the moment, pressure in regional ICUs is at high risk, between 15% and 25%. Although the SES understands that it is a medium level, since in order to calculate the levels, one must take into account “the total hospital capacity not installed, but included in the contingency plan.” The high level would place Extremadura on alert 3, according to the document ‘Coordinated response actions to control the transmission of COVID-19’, published by the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System. This point means that there is “uncontrolled and sustained community transmission that exceeds the response capacities of the health system”.
This same text indicates that the health authorities must recommend to the population not to leave the home unless it is essential. Likewise, it points out that it is convenient to assess the limitation of entrances and exits from the territorial area and go to work in an exceptional way and maintaining the measures of physical distancing, hygiene and prevention.
Since the second wave of the pandemic began in mid-August, the increase in covid patients in Extremadura’s ICUs has been constant, although with slight fluctuations. In the second week of August, only 1.27% of the beds were occupied by coronavirus patients and last Friday that percentage was already at 17.83%. A growth of more than 16 percentage points.
It is a figure that coincides almost exactly with the evolution of the occupation of all intensive care places. In the week of August 14 it was 29.93% and at the end of this week it stood at 47.77%, about 17 points more. This points directly to the covid as the reason that has triggered the pressure on ICUs in the region.
However, not all hospitals in the region are suffering it in the same proportion. The largest centers have a higher percentage of total occupation due to the fact that they dedicate a large part of their resources to patients with other pathologies.
Thus, the hospitals in the health areas of Cáceres and Badajoz have ICUs at more than 60% of their capacity – 66.6% and 61.4%, respectively -, but the covid does not represent 20 % in no case. Although it is true that his coronavirus admitted to intensive care, as in Plasencia, are at the highest of the second wave.
On the contrary, in the health areas of Mérida, Plasencia and Don Benito, those infected with covid in their ICUs represent a high percentage of the total. In all more than 40%.
In absolute number, there are 29 covid patients in intensive care in the region as a whole, according to data from the Ministry of Health. It is a number that has undergone a great jump in the last week, since in the October 23 report there were 17, which represented 10.82% of ICU beds, seven points less than at present.
Despite being a high number, it is still far from the nearly 60 hospitalized for coronavirus who were at the same time in Extremadura’s ICUs during the month of April.
The virus maintains, according to Health, 290 people admitted to the region. Less severe cases are found in so-called acute beds. The occupation of these ranges between 5.5%, in the Coria hospital, and 10.91%, in Llerena-Zafra. Only the Mérida hospital is outside these parameters, which with 78 patients has more than 17% of its beds occupied by covid.
In the global region, Vergeles highlighted on Friday that 10.2% of the plant spaces are currently destined for people infected with the virus. “This is a percentage lower than the national average, which is 14.7%,” insisted the counselor in his speech.
Evolution, on the other hand, does not invite optimism. Just a week ago, the beds occupied by covid patients was 6.09%, following the same ministerial report that Vergeles referred to.