Covid ICU occupancy still high, but non-ICU beds falling vacant – ET HealthWorld

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Covid ICU occupancy still high, but non-ICU beds falling vacantNew Delhi: Occupancy of Covid ICU beds in Delhi has not declined in proportion to non-ICU beds. In the past 12 days, the number of patients admitted on Covid beds has declined to 5,226 from 12,740.

There were 5,403 occupied ICU beds 12 days ago and as on May 22, there were 4,798 occupied ICU beds. While Covid cases are down, there is no significant decline in the number of critical patients. Calls on Covid helpline number 1031 have, meanwhile, declined from 450 daily to 150 daily in the past 15 days.

According to Delhi government officials, the current Covid wave left many among Covid-infected patients fighting the infection for longer periods in hospitals. “We have analysed that the critical patients are taking longer time to recover in comparison to the patients who were admitted in ICU during the last Covid wave,” said an official.

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On May 10, the capital had 83,809 active cases out of which 5,403 patients were admitted in ICU while 12,740 were on non-ICU Covid beds. The number of patients admitted in non-ICU beds started declining from May 11, but the number of those admitted in ICU continued to increase. On May 11, the number of occupied ICU beds increased to 5,425 while the number of occupied non-ICU beds declined to 12,099.

Suresh Kumar, medical director of Lok Nayak Hospital, Delhi’s largest Covid hospital, said that the strain of coronavirus that was affecting the people in the current wave—double mutant Covid variant—was more virulent. This is one of the factors behind longer stays in Covid ICU beds. “The respiratory infections are taking longer to heal and the opportunistic infections like the black fungus are affecting more people and delaying recoveries from ICU,” said Kumar.

A government report stated that on May 22, Delhi had 27,610 active cases out of which 4,798 people were admitted in ICU and 5,226 in non-ICU beds. The figure is almost similar now, but 12 days ago, the number of patients admitted in non-ICU beds was more than two times higher than those admitted in ICU beds.

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A doctor said that towards the end of recovery from ICU, many patients do not have normal blood test results. Some of them report higher TLC (total leukocyte count) levels while some others report lower than normal TLC levels. The normal range for TLC is between 4,000 and 11,000. Those reporting below 4,000 TLC suffer immunity reduction and some of them get fungus. “Some patients report higher than 20,000 TLC count and experience a combination of health problems,” said the doctor.

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