Empty hospital bed

Shortage of Capacity in Czech Hospitals Reaching Severe Levels

Czech hospitals are facing severe challenges due to the growing number of patients needing medical care, mainly due to a shortage of beds and healthcare staff. As of today, 86% of intensive care beds in the country are occupied by patients, leaving only 595 available. Doctors are also reporting that younger patients are needing serious medical care.  Photo Credit: Freepik / Illustrative photo.

Czech Rep., March 2 (BD) – The pandemic situation in the Czech Republic has been worsening in the past few weeks, leading to an increased number of patients hospitalized in severe condition. According to the Czech Ministry of Health, there are currently 149,000 active cases of Covid-19 in the country; 7,177 of these patients are in hospital, 1,568 of them in a serious condition. The hospitals are under serious pressure from the growing number of inpatients, mainly due to the shortage of beds and healthcare staff. 86% of intensive care beds in the country are now occupied, meaning there are only 595 left available. In addition, fewer than a quarter of the 21,000 standard oxygen beds in Czech hospitals are available. In the South Moravian Region, 17% of intensive care beds are available. 

February has seen a deteriorating situation in hospitals as patients have been experiencing more severe cases of Covid-19. In the last week of January, 3,100 intensive care beds were occupied, rising to over 3,400 this Monday. Hospitals in the Czech Republic are also seeing more and more young people needing intensive medical care. Václav Šimánek, Director of Pilsen University Hospital, told Seznam Zpravy: “These days, more than 250 patients are receiving care in our hospital, the youngest of whom is 28 years old. Unfortunately, there are more and more younger people with very serious cases. I’m not trying to scare you, this is the reality. The current situation is really bad. The capacity of the hospital and the strength of the emergency care staff are already at their limits.” Tomáš Vacek from the Jablonec nad Nisou Hospital near Liberec echoed his point, saying that there are more patients in their 30s and 40s.

Doctors working in Czech hospitals also stress that they are experiencing their busiest period since the beginning of the pandemic, as the average hospitalization period per patient is longer than previously.  “The length of stay varies according to the severity of the case, from a few days to several months. About 70% of patients in intensive care units will recover, but only 40% of patients connected to artificial lung ventilation will survive,” said Tomáš Gabrhelík, Head of the Department of Anesthesiology, Resuscitation and Intensive Care at the Tomas Bata Regional Hospital in Zlín.

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