occupations of intensive care beds are increasing everywhere, are we on the verge of saturation? (menu)

New restrictive measures were announced on Friday to fight against the coronavirus. But it is more about adapting health protocols for several sectors such as culture, sport or even youth.

These measures are far from sufficient for a good number of scientists who advocated reconfinement to avoid the saturation of hospital structures. The reception and care capacity of hospitals is the sinews of war. Not only are the numbers on the rise but “Hospitalizations double every eight days”, underlined the spokesperson of the crisis center Yves Van Laethem. For the time being, in Belgium the capacity of intensive care beds is 1993 beds, 573 are occupied.

The force of the war

One of the indicators that particularly worries scientists is that of hospitalizations and in particular the occupation of intensive care beds.

This Friday there are 498 hospitalizations in the last 24 hours. Un total de 3649 patients are currently hospitalized in Belgium for the Covid-19 (+ 11%) and 573 are treated in intensive care (+ 9%).


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And even if the authorities have announced additional resources, staff are also needed to take charge of these intensive care units. Especially since people with coronavirus and admitted to intensive care are patients who stay there for a fairly long period.

So are we on the verge of saturation? Inventory

Very worrying situation in Liège

A Liège, where the hospital situation is the most worrying: 47% of intensive care beds are occupied, i.e. 108 out of 230.

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Moreover, many doctors and scientists say they are on the verge of saturation if the speed of propagation continues in this way. Doctor Philippe Devos, president of the ABSyM medical union, and intensive care doctor of the CHC de Liège, has sounded the alarm several times. He believes it is too late for the province to be able to avoid saturation.

Liège is followed by Brussels-Capital : out of 270 beds, 115 are currently occupied, or 43% of the beds that are occupied.

The more favorable situation in the north?

When we look at the map, we can see that there is a fairly clear difference between the north and the south in terms of occupancy of intensive care beds. Moreover, there is already talk of transferring patients from one hospital to another.

However, the increase in contaminations and hospitalizations can be observed throughout Belgium. Moreover, it is in Flanders – West, East and Limburg – that we observe the strongest increases, even if, in absolute figures, it is the provinces of Liège and that of Hainaut which are in difficulty, this is what Yves Van Laethem explained this Friday morning.

Flemish Brabant is the province with the lowest occupancy of intensive care beds: currently 14% of beds are occupied, ie 19 beds out of 139. On the other hand, in the province of Antwerp the situation is already more difficult: 25% beds are currently occupied, i.e. 74 out of 301.