Thursday, October 29, 2020

The Covid-19 tipping point doctors fear most is getting closer

 We can now save many more lives from Covid-19 — until hospitals reach capacity.

 A nurse wearing an N95 mask works as intravenous therapy equipment hangs outside a Covid-19 patient’s door in a Stamford Hospital intensive care unit, on April 24, 2020, in Stamford, Connecticut. John Moore/Getty Images

Julia Belluz, Vox

With the advances in Covid-19 treatment, there’s still a tipping point at which the mortality rate could spike — when there are far more patients than hospital beds, staff, and ventilators. “If hospitals get overwhelmed, obviously it’s difficult to provide optimal care,” said Tom Frieden, the CEO of the health nonprofit Resolve to Save Lives.

And hospitals are becoming overwhelmed again, on both sides of the Atlantic.

France is reporting the highest number of Covid-19 hospitalizations since April — with more than half of all ICU beds full in the country. The Czech Republic — home to the fastest-growing epidemic in Europe — had to mobilize the army to build a Covid-19 field hospital and call its foreign health workers home to help with the emergency. In Belgium, even doctors diagnosed with the disease have been asked to continue working while non-urgent surgeries have been called off.  Read more >>