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ICU circumstances hit new peak in French coronavirus surge

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Doctors are more and more sounding the alarm that they could have to start out turning sufferers away for ICU care, notably within the Paris area.

The variety of sufferers in intensive care in France on Monday surpassed the worst level of the nation’s final coronavirus surge within the autumn of 2020, one other indicator of how a renewed crush of infections is bearing down on French hospitals.

The French authorities’s rely of COVID-19 sufferers in ICUs and hospital surveillance items climbed to 4,974 on Monday.

That is previous the final high-point of 4,919 ICU circumstances on November 16, when France was additionally gripped by a virus surge and was locked down in response.

ICU admissions are rising by double digits each day. Doctors are more and more sounding the alarm that they could have to start out turning sufferers away for ICU care, notably within the Paris area.

“We are in a crisis situation,” mentioned Dr. Jacques Ballout of the Pierre Beregevoy Hospital within the Burgundy city of Nevers. His hospital’s 12-bed intensive care ward is at capability with COVID and non-COVID sufferers.

“We’ll see if we can stay the course. It all depends on the infections,” he informed The Associated Press over the weekend. Virus restrictions in his area had been tightened final week as the federal government added it to the nation’s highest-risk zone.

When the pandemic first hit France, hospitals ended up with greater than 7,000 sufferers in intensive care, a excessive level reached in April 2020.

But throughout that preliminary tidal wave of infections, hospitals stopped treating many non-COVID-19 sufferers to keep away from changing into fully overwhelmed.

This time, as was additionally the case final November, hospitals should not fully clearing their decks of non-virus circumstances.

While some non-essential surgical procedures are once more being postponed, hospitals are nonetheless treating COVID and non-COVID emergencies, placing some ICUs beneath intense and worsening stress.

With the extra contagious, extra aggressive virus variant first recognized in Britain now dominant in France, Dr. Ballout mentioned, “We’re seeing younger and younger patients, in their 40s and 50s but also younger… and a difference in the virulence.”

That contains folks with no well being issues, he mentioned, who didn’t assume they had been susceptible and prone to get hospitalised.

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