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2021.10.13 15:49

Lithuanian hospitals quickly approaching Covid capacity

Modesta Gaučaitė-Znutienė, Modesta Gaučaitė, LRT.lt2021.10.13 15:49

Lithuanian hospitals are being overwhelmed by Covid patients, limiting access to other medical services.

There are currently 507 Covid patients, including 10 children and 48 ICU cases, in the Vilnius region. This means that 86 percent of regular Covid beds and 76 percent of ICU beds are already occupied.

In Vilnius Santara Clinics, which treat serious and critical Covid cases, almost all Covid beds are taken. It is thus adding 30 extra beds to the existing 91.

“By adding these beds, we are forced to reduce the number of places allocated to patients with diseases other than Covid-19,” said Jolita Jakutienė, operations director at Santara Clinics.

Hospitals in other Lithuanian regions are also nearing their Covid capacity. In Elektrėnai and Molėtai hospitals, all Covid beds, 40 and 20 respectively, are already full.

Sacrificing other services

Around 150 Covid patients are currently treated in Kaunas Clinics. If the epidemiological situation keeps worsening, other services will be suspended to accommodate all those infected with coronavirus, said Saulius Tvirbutas, a communications specialist at Kaunas Clinics.

“We have already had to sacrifice some therapeutic services to accommodate Covid patients,” Tvirbutas told LRT.lt.

“If the number of patients keeps increasing and Kaunas Covid-19 management team instructs us to allocate more beds to them, it will come at a further cost of therapeutic services,” he added.

According to Tvirbutas, other infections are also on the rise, which creates tension at the hospital due to limited access to medical services.

“We have never had unoccupied beds. There are only plans for the future to sacrifice treatment of one disease or another,” he said.

On October 13, Lithuania reported an increase of hospitalised Covid patients to 1,488, including 144 ICU cases.

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