The critical care capacity of one of the country’s busiest hospitals has been exceeded, staff were told today.
Cork University Hospital (CUH) is now planning to open additional critical care beds on-site and has appealed for staff to volunteer for shifts to man the beds.
The hospital’s CEO, Ger O’Callaghan, told staff there is now “an urgent need” for volunteers to man 12-hour shifts over the coming week.
He said critical care experience is not necessary but familiarity with the intensive care unit environment would be welcome.
A spokesman for the South-South West Hospital Group said there has been a good response to the call from staff so far.
The latest HSE figures show that as of Thursday night, CUH was treating 158 people with Covid-19 — the highest number of Covid patients of any Irish hospital, with 16 in the critical care unit.
At the time, it had just one unoccupied critical care bed available and 28 general beds available.
Earlier this month, CUH triggered its emergency escalation plan to face the increasing challenges of Covid-19, with a combination of rising case numbers and staff absences.
Across the hospital sector, 6,000 staff are now out of work due to Covid-related reasons.