” We are more serene now that the peak has passed, the descent has begun, rejoices Vincent Piriou, head of intensive care at Lyon-Sud hospital, where several of the 62 open beds – against 27 in normal times – have remained empty in recent days. It’s still a lot less stressful than the climb where you never know where it’s going to end … “Nevertheless, the equation is not simple for the hospital, while the decline seems, finally, clearly engaged everywhere in France, after several weeks of stagnation, with 5,005 patients of Covid-19 in the services of critical care at 8 May, up from 6,001 at the third wave high on April 27.
We must not go too quickly in the reorganization, nor too slowly, we hear from the doctors, faced with a dilemma a little different from that of previous exits from the crisis. Closing the additional beds dedicated to Covid-19 too early is taking the risk of being overwhelmed in the event of a rebound in the epidemic, but going too slowly further delays the resumption of activity deprogrammed in recent months for operations other patients.
With this particular fact that this third ebb is placed under the sign of uncertainty. How far will the number of patients go, and at what rate? Will it stop at a plateau? What will be the consequences of the different stages of deconfinement, which has started when there are many more Covid patients in hospitals than at the end of the first or second wave? Will the effects of vaccination and good weather be enough to prevent a rebound?
In the regions hit hard by this third wave, caution is therefore required. ” In Lyon-Sud, we timidly started freezing five beds », Explains Professor Piriou. When a bed is empty, the service waits forty-eight hours, keeping the staff to use it again if necessary. Ten beds were finally able to be closed last week. ” But the decline ain’t gonna go as fast as we could [le] believe, he specifies. We keep patients a little longer to get them out in better conditions, so that they are better stabilized. “Outings which had been accelerated to the maximum while the epidemic was soaring.
“Far too early to disarm anything”
” The decline is accelerating ”, assures Jean-Yves Grall, boss of the regional health agency Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. The 862 patients in intensive care at the peak in the region (65% of whom were suffering from Covid-19) on April 20 fell to 802 patients as of May 7 (58% with Covid-19). ” But we are in a very cautious approach, it is not “on-off”, it is a clever mix in which we are gradually reducing the resuscitation capacities, with the maintenance of the personnel available. [par d’autres établissements et services] as long as we need them. The massive deprogramming of the surgical activity for the other patients, decreed on April 6, has already been lowered from a notch to a level of about 50% and should tend towards 20% in the coming week.
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