Many hospitals in Japan have no room to welcome more serious patients without Covid-19, in the context of a record high number of infections.
The increasing number of Covid-19 cases in intensive care units (ICUs) are making it difficult to care for other seriously ill people. Recently, the number of new daily nCoV infections has decreased, with its lowest level in nearly a month, at 2,764 cases. However, the number of Covid-19 patients with a severe prognosis is still increasing, with a record 1,017 being recorded on January 26, the Japanese Ministry of Health said.
The government has provided aid to replenish the number of ICU beds for Covid-19 patients, and at the same time erect separating walls and negative pressure chambers inside the intensive care area to prevent infection. However, that also means cutting the space for people with other conditions like heart disease.
“If we expand the ICU room to a Covid-19 patient, we will not be able to accept other patients. The people with myocardial infarction will be left behind and die. So we are compelled to make a decision. limit losses, “said Dr. Kentaro Iwata, head of the department of infectious diseases at Kobe University Hospital.
Kobe University Hospital treats Covid-19 patients when the first line hospitals in Hyogo prefecture are out of space. This is not the only basis for facing difficult decisions. In other parts of Japan, such as Chiba Prefecture, there is also heavy pressure on the rise of serious Covid-19 cases.
Dr. Koutaro Yokote, General Manager of the Chiba University Hospital, said that the treatment of patients with a severe prognosis Covid-19 requires the participation of emergency and intensive care doctors, with twice as many. common cases. This means they cannot be of concern to people with other serious illnesses.
“As a result, we are unable to accept more Covid-19 patients and those with other problems that need emergency care. We are helpless when we cannot save lives that could be cured,” said Mr. Yokote. know.
Japan has 17,000 ICU beds in which the number of Covid-19 patients is only about 3,600 beds, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health. Many localities have called on medical facilities to increase the number of beds for severe Covid-19 patients. However, hospitals face many difficulties because it is not easy to prevent Covid-19 from spreading the virus in the hospital. A number of local governments, including Kanagawa Prefecture, have taken advantage of government subsidies to build temporary patient rooms and increase the number of beds for Covid-19 patients.
As of October 2020, everyone with nCoV infection can be admitted to the hospital, but as of the end of October, the hospital only welcomes people 65 years of age and older, people with background disease, and pregnant women. Patient Covid-19 has mild symptoms or does not require isolation at home or in a hotel.
In Tokyo, which has the highest number of cases in the country, people under the age of 70 with no underlying medical condition require treatment at hotels used as temporary medical facilities. In the city of Nagoya, a man in his 60s and a woman in her 70s without Covid-19 experienced a heart attack in ambulances, as medical staff struggled to find a hospital. receive them.
“Currently, Hyogo prefecture has run out of space for critically ill patients and is unable to receive new cases. The patient cannot be hospitalized even in a life-threatening situation is unexpected in Japan, where There is a national health insurance program. But, this is a reality, “said Dr. Iwata.
Mai Dung (According to the Japan Times)