COVID-19

University Hospital Waterford under severe pressure due to Covid surge

University Hospital Waterford under severe pressure due to Covid surge

University Hospital Waterford is under 'severe pressure', according to one of its consultants.

The facility is the busiest in the country with over 100 in-patients being treated with Covid-19 and 8 patients receiving critical care.

Speaking on DΓ©ise Today, consultant pathologist Dr Rob Landers says the critical care unit is in surge capacity.

"Again, we have over 100 patients in the hospital with Covid. We have 8 critical care beds open, so we are in surge capacity in terms of our critical care and we have over 60 patients on some form of intensive oxygen support.

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"The hospital is under severe pressure."

Dr. Landers went on to say the recent high number of deaths has been traumatic.

"In March of last year we erected a temporary refrigeration capacity outside the main building in the mortuary, we didn't have to use that until this month which gives you an indication of the scale of the deaths that are happening.

"I don't want to be a sensationalist. Every hospital in the country is experiencing a death rate higher than normal this time of year. Waterford is no worse than anywhere else."

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"We have lots of staff out which is putting us under more pressure. It's been a very, very bruising month for the hospital.

"We have had a lot of deaths and behind every one of those deaths there is a family, there is a bereaved family and there is a whole life story.

"It's hugely traumatic on the families in terms of the funerals, funeral arrangements and the limitations around those."

The news comes as the TΓ‘naiste has said the roll-out of vaccines to over-70s may be delayed as the state avoids using the AstraZeneca vaccine in older people.

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Instead, over-70s will be given the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines - which presents logistical challenges as they're harder to store.

The vaccines taskforce met this morning to consider what changes to the vaccination timeline might come on the back of this.

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