Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Up to 80% of Intensive Care beds already have a patient

What will happen if in Costa Rica the number of patients with covid-19 increases?

As of today, Monday, April 6, between 60% and 80% of the 227 Intensive Care Units (ICU) beds available in Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) hospitals already have a patient. But, what would happen if the number of patients with covid-19 that requires the ICU support begins to rise?


In Costa Rica, the number of covid-19 patients in ICU is now 14, but the number has been increasing almost daily in the past week.

- paying the bills -

Though the number seems small, representing only 3.1% of the active cases (in other countries, it is around 5% to 10%), and 6.17% of the beds currently available in Intensive Care.

If these figures increase exponentially in the coming days as Health authorities warn if the population doesn’t take seriously the stay-at-home request and obey the Health orders to quarantine and isolation, “There would be no capacity, just as there has not been in Europe or the United States, to support the weight of that demand”.

This would mean the beginning of the collapse of health services, as has already been seen in other countries in the world.

The medical director of the CCSS, Mario Ruiz Cubillo, reiterated that, for this reason, it is so important for the population to understand the need to respect the social distancing and other measures issued by the Ministry of Health since the beginning of March.

Only by abiding by these measures will it be possible to contain a wave of seriously ill patients, which is what could ultimately lead to exceeding the limit on health services.

- paying the bills -

The institution, Ruiz clarified, has done everything possible to lower the load in services, but besides covid-19, there continue to be victims of traffic accidents or heart attacks, which are the normally require ICU care.

According to Ruiz, in normal times (no covid-19), the ICUs have an occupancy rate of between 80% and 90%. With measures that have been applied in recent weeks, such as the suspension of elective surgeries, that occupation rate is between 60% and 80%.

The experience in other countries is that covid-19 patients spend up to 18 days, on average, in ICU care.

“Chinese specialists advise us to avoid to the maximum that patients in mild or moderate state progress to severity because it is in this state that they will require an Intensive Care Unit, and that is where the costs and risks rise,” said the doctor.

For now, the situation in Costa Rica is still manageable. The Caja’s executive president, Román Macaya, explained that, until now, the vast majority of people with the coronavirus in Costa Rica have not required hospitalization.

Of the 467 confirmed as of today, only 26 have needed hospital support, and of them 14 Intensive Care.

- paying the bills --

“We have had patients who have left the ICU for covid-19 and who not only left the ICU but the hospital. That is, they fully recovered. Our hospitals are the centers of hope for those who need that level of care,” Macaya said at Sunday’s briefing.


"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

COVID-19 in Costa Rica: 788 new cases Sunday; 26-year-old dies and a 14-year-old in ICU

(QCOSTARICA) The Ministry of Health reported this Sunday, August 2, 788...

COVID-19 in Costa Rica: 367 new cases on August 1; ICU cases almost 100

(QCOSTARICA) The Ministry of Health reported 367 new cases for Saturday,...


COVID-19 in Costa Rica: 367 new cases on August 1; ICU cases almost 100

(QCOSTARICA) The Ministry of Health reported 367 new cases for Saturday, August 1, with a cumulative total of 18.187. The number recovered increased to 4,531. The...

All you need to know about Costa Rica’s reopening of airports to tourists

(QCOSTARICA) Starting tomorrow, Saturday, August 1, the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) will be able to receive tourists from Canada, the European Union (EU)...

Nicaraguans stranded at border begin process for home

(QCOSTARICA) A total of 148 Nicaraguans, of the 169 who remained stranded in the Peñas Blancas border with Nicaragua, began the process to re-enter...

Crashes vehicle and strips naked in public

In plain light of day Thursday, in the area of Paso Ancho, San Jose, the driver of one the vehicles involved in a...

Non-Canadian, EU or UK citizens with new entry rules for Costa Rica

(QCOSTARICA) Travelers who are not citizens of countries authorized to fly to Costa Rica for now, such as U.S. citizens, will be able to...

Six people arrested for obstructing ruta 27 this Friday morning

(QCOSTARICA) Six people were arrested for blocking passage on the ruta 27, at the Santa Ana intersection, this Friday morning. The arrests were made by...

Let's Keep This Going!

To be updated with all the latest news and information about Costa Rica and Latin America.