Coronavirus: Ireland has less ICU beds and staff than other EU countries, expert warns

Coronavirus: Ireland has less ICU beds and staff than other EU countries, expert warns

Ireland has half the number of ICU beds and staffing compared to other EU countries, according to a leading expert.

The issue has been brought into sharp focus as the country prepares for a surge in coronavirus cases.

The European Centre for Disease Control is warning that ICU facilities may not be able to manage rising numbers of serious cases.

Dr Tom Ryan, intensive care consultant at St James’ Hospital in Dublin, says additional equipment is needed so the health service can cope with the expected surge in Covid 19 cases:

"Hopefully we will never be faced with a situation where we will have to deny a patient who has a prospect of survival," he said, referring to vast overcrowding in a number of hospitals in Europe since the outbreak began.

"We will never have to deny such a patient appropriate care if we get the equipment we need as soon as we can," he added.

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

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