Friday 1 December 2023

Number of Covid patients in ICU falls below critical threshold

For the first time since April, this Monday a fewer number of covid-19 patients were in intensive care than the CCSS capacity limit, which is 359 beds

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QCOSTARICA – Since April 28, Costa Rica’s medical services have been stretched way beyond the limits, in particular for hospitalization in Intensive Care Units (ICUs). However, on Monday, the numbers were lower than the maximum installed capacity in public hospitals.

An image from the mid May last, in the area for covid patients of the Emergency service, at Hospital México. Photo: Courtesy Hospital México

According to the report from the Ministry of Health, on July 19, 356 covid-19 patients were occupying an “UCI” – ICU bed – in a hospital in the country, a number below the 359 capacity.

Of the 356, 350 of them were in a medical center of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), four in the Hospital Clínica Bíblica, and two in the CIMA, the latter two being private hospitals.

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The 350 hospitalized in ICUs of public hospitals confirm a tendency to reduce cases below the critical threshold that began on April 28 with 351 hospitalized in ICU. A day later, that figure jumped to 372, growing rapidly in a few days and reaching the maximum number in this pandemic wave of 545 patients admitted to the ICU, on May 25, the most critical moment so far in this pandemic.

Since then curve began to descend very slowly.

At the press conference last Tuesday (July 13), Priscilla Herrera, General Director of Health, confirmed the trend in the decline in the number of people hospitalized in recent weeks.

Deaths related to covid-19 is also continuing a downward rhythm, falling from 89 to 83 weekly deaths, with a daily average of 12 deaths.

Herrera noted, however, that the same did not happen with hospital admissions.

Although the number of confirmed cases and deaths related to covid-19 have been declining, in the week that ended on July 10, there were 564 admissions, 53 more than in the previous week.

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Herrera did not report possible causes of this behavior. Expected is an explanation in today’s update from the Ministry of Heatlh.

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