The head of Liverpool’s critical care departments has provided an update on the covid situation currently facing the city’s main hospitals.
NHS staff have been battling another wave of the virus in recent weeks, with heavy pressure on various departments, as teams try to deal with rising covid admissions and work through a large backlog of procedures.
Dr. Peter Hampshire is the Clinical Director of Critical Care and Pain at the Liverpool University Hospital Trust – which includes the Aintree and Royal Liverpool hospitals.
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He has recently spoken out about the pressure his team and other NHS staff are once again facing after 16 months of fighting the pandemic.
In his latest update, he said staff are still struggling, but said they now saw the true effect of the life-saving vaccines in action.
He took to twitter to share an analysis of covid patients from the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Program (ICNARC), which he said shows how the vaccines have affected this wave compared to other waves.
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He said: “ICNARC has published their analysis of patients with COVID admitted to the ICU since May 1, comparing them to previous admissions in the fall / winter wave. This is the first time we have seen the effect of the vaccines on ICU admissions. & there are definitely differences.
“Northwest has admitted most patients since May 1 (mostly Greater Manchester).
“It will be interesting to see how numbers are affected over the next few weeks as communities appear to be declining. People being admitted are younger (average age 49 vs. 60 in 2nd wave).
“But more from more disadvantaged areas (-40%). Both due to the effect of vaccines, as the uptake is lower in younger people and more disadvantaged areas. Inpatients are less likely to have chronic disease, probably on due to younger age. Use of ventilation is lower, we use CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure.) In the first place. “
Dr. Hampshire said it was ‘striking’ the number of pregnant women or recently pregnant women who have been admitted to the ICU in this latest wave.
He added: “This is probably due to the fact that hospitalization is more careful in this group and again lower vaccine intake. But shows the importance of getting the vaccine if you are pregnant.”
Speaking about where this wave is currently standing, he added: “Absolutely not over yet, we are still admitting 3-4 patients a day with COVID to our ICUs, although the total number has remained stable at around 20.
“This is still a large (1/3) of our total Critical Care capacity, and most are younger and unvaccinated. So get vaccinated again.”
The latest update on hospital admissions in Liverpool shows that the number of people with the virus being cared for across trust on July 27 was 92.
This was an increase of about ten from the week before.
But as Dr. Hampshire has pointed out that the number of critical care needs remains stable – with 14 patients on the ICU at the latest data point.
As he explained, this is largely due to the fact that many of those who become ill are younger and often not vaccinated.
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