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Hospital 'overwhelmed' by Covid-19 cases

The King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (File photograph)

A record number of Covid-19 patients has stretched healthcare resources to breaking point, the Premier warned last night.

David Burt added he was “extremely concerned with what we are seeing at our hospital”.

He said: “The hospital is currently overwhelmed due to the events that took place three to four weeks ago, where persons were not following the regulations and public health guidance.

“They came into contact with persons who were positive and unfortunately brought the coronavirus home to their families, and then it spread farther.”

Mr Burt blamed much of the new high of 58 patients, 14 of them in critical care, to unvaccinated people with pre-existing conditions that left them vulnerable.

Wesley Miller, the Bermuda Hospitals Board Chief of Staff, said hospital admissions had surged by 38 per cent in the week ending yesterday.

He added: “That’s a huge jump.”

He added intensive care unit admissions rose by 24 per cent – and some patients that should have gone to ICU were being cared for on acute wards.

The number of Covid-19 patients who attended the Emergency Department just this month up until yesterday shot up tenfold from the August figures.

Dr Miller said the most seriously ill patients required “a lot of resources” around the clock.

He added: “In practice, you need eight nurses to look after three patients in a 24-hour period.”

Dr Miller said the flow of patients through the Emergency Department had improved a little.

But he warned that, if admissions continued to mount, the hospital would fail to serve its patients because of staff shortages.

Dr Miller added: “The staffing situation has gotten a little worse because the staff live in the community and are exposed to Covid-19 and unfortunately some of the staff are not vaccinated.”

He said 59 hospital staff were off work because of Covid-19 – 39 infected and 20 who had been exposed to the coronavirus.

Dr Miller said the majority of those infected had not been vaccinated.

Mr Burt said last Sunday that extra medical staff would be recruited from overseas to back up exhausted healthcare workers in Bermuda.

Dr Miller said yesterday that many of the hospital’s nursing staff were on double shifts.

He added: “As the pandemic drags on, there are many people who get exhausted.”

Dr Miller said the major area of need was in “critical care and nursing”.

He added: “We are seeking them now – whatever we can get. Whether it’s half a dozen, a dozen or 20, we are happy with whatever we get.”

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Published September 23, 2021 at 7:55 am (Updated September 23, 2021 at 8:02 am)

Hospital 'overwhelmed' by Covid-19 cases

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