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 Concern Over Hospital's Ability to Handle H1N1 Patients 
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Post Concern Over Hospital's Ability to Handle H1N1 Patients
Concern Over Hospital's Ability to Handle H1N1 Patients

October 28, 2009 by Bruce Ziebarth

Date: October 27, 2009
Washington, DC

Will United States's Hospital System Be Able to Handle H1N1 Patients?

Hospitals only have a limited number of beds. Usually, disease outbreaks are limited in geographic area and length of outbreak. Hospitals are able to handle the influx of patients by transferring them to other area hospitals. H1N1 swine flu virus is proving to be slightly different. H1N1 swine flu is affecting patients across the United States. H1N1 swine flu virus begs the questions about whether hospitals will be able to handle the influx of H1N1 swine flu patients.

We have already seen hospitals taking precautions to stem the H1N1 swine flu virus's spread. Last week Keokuk Health Systems, in Keokuk Iowa, decided to revisit their patient visitation policy. Limiting their patient visitor policy is aimed at stemming the H1N1 swine flu virus's spread. (Second area hospital limits visits to facility, 2009) On October 27, 2009, Agnesian Healthcare announced they were also making changes to their patient visitation policy. One change is to limit patient visitors to only person's 18 years and older. Agnesian Healthcare's visitation changes are also aimed at stemming the H1N1 swine flu virus's spread.

Should efforts to stem the H1N1 swine flu virus prove to not be enough, are hospitals ability to handle the influx of patients? Several indicators to hospital's,across the United States, to be able to handle H1N1 swine flu patients is proving troublesome. RedOrbit.com reported:


"Fifteen states could run out of available hospital beds during the peak of a swine flu outbreak if 35 percent of Americans fell sick from the H1N1 virus, according to a new study released on Thursday. Twelve states could reach or exceed 75 percent of their hospital bed capacity, according to the report released by Trust for America's Health (TFAH)." (Hospitals Could Reach Capacity With H1N1 Outbreak, 2009)

http://www.associatedcontent.com/articl ... html?cat=5

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Post Re: Concern Over Hospital's Ability to Handle H1N1 Patients
UK: Percentage Of Hospitalized Patients In ICU Rising



# 3934




From the BMJ (British Medical Journal) this morning, a news report indicating that the percentage of those hospitalized for Swine flu in the UK requiring ICU beds is going up.



Last July only about 7% of those hospitalized required critical care, whereas now that number is about 21%.



While ICU units are obviously under increasing patient loads, this change in admittance ratio needn’t signify a change in the virus. Doctors may simply be less inclined to hospitalize less-severely ill patients today than they were four months ago.


In absolute terms, however, the number of new ICU admissions for this virus in the UK is at a new weekly high.





Quote:
Number of swine flu patients going into intensive care is rising

Published 2 November 2009, doi:10.1136/bmj.b4528
Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4528

Nayanah Siva


1 London


The proportion of patients in hospital with swine flu who have been admitted to intensive care continues to rise in England, said the chief medical officer, Liam Donaldson, last week.



In the week to 28 October 157 of 751 hospitalised patients with the illness (21%) had to go into intensive care, up from 63 of 840 patients (7.5%) in the last week of July, when the epidemic reached a peak before the school holidays began.



"There is an eerie similarity to what happened in Australia," said Professor Donaldson at a press briefing on 29 October. At one point during Australia’s winter months of June to August 25% of hospitalised patients were in critical care.



Children under the age of 5 years had the highest rate of hospitalisation in the week to 28 October, Professor Donaldson said, and younger patients admitted to critical care were much less likely than older patients to have underlying health conditions.



(Continue . . . )


Posted by FLA_MEDIC at 11:21 AM

http://afludiary.blogspot.com/2009/11/u ... ients.html

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