The rapid increase in the number of coronavirus infections in Germany reached the point that many hospitals reached their capacity limit due to a lack of intensive care beds as well as the necessary medical and nursing staff.
This follows from the so-called DIVI Intensive Care Registry, managed by the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI) together with the Robert Koch Institute (RKI): There are 19,373 intensive care beds in more than 1,200 hospitals in Germany, but only about 7,145 have a high level of care, that is, only in these beds can patients be given invasive ventilation.
According to DIVI’s intensive care registry, 3,845 Covid-19 patients are currently receiving intensive care. Of these, 1,968 require invasive ventilation.
In the last 24 hours, 292 new patients were admitted to intensive care units and this means that there are only 1,757 high-level intensive care beds left in the whole of Germany.
In some regions such as Bavaria, Thuringia and Saxony, where infection rates are particularly high, the level of bed occupancy is much higher.
According to the president of the Saxon Medical Association, Erik Bodendieck, the intensive care units run the risk of being saturated in the next, while he assured that in some regions of the state, “two patients could have to compete for a bed” .
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New stage of the pandemic
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In this way, there is a risk of a triage situationIn other words, preference should be given to those with the best chance of success in treatment. The unvaccinated would have the worst chance of survival.
The term triage refers to the medical decision of which patients are treated first or do not receive intensive treatment when treatment capacities are poor due to the severity of their cases or other factors.
In Germany there is no triage law that explicitly regulates how doctors must decide about life and death in emergency situations.
Recently, seven medical societies prepared the corresponding action recommendations for triage in times of the coronavirus and their objective is to facilitate decision-making and establish uniform ethical standards as far as possible.
When push comes to shove, clinicians have to decide solely based on the prospects for clinical success. The deciding factors are the general health, the severity of the disease, the oxygen level in the blood, or whether the patient has pre-existing conditions, such as advanced kidney disease or cancer or pronounced heart failure.