More intensive care beds occupied again –


At the Hietzing Clinic, 47 people with Covid-19 are currently being cared for, eight of them in the intensive care unit. This means that you are working to full capacity. “We have the impression the patients are a little younger and the processes are a little faster, so the patients are a little more likely to come to the intensive care unit. And: We are now learning that with the British variant we seem to need a little more intensive care beds than we do with the original wild variant, ”said Stephan Kettner, Head of Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine at the Hietzing Clinic, to“ Vienna today ”.


“Playing with fire”


This mutation, which is 30 percent more contagious, is also of increasing concern to the coronavirus crisis team in the Ministry of Health. “If we did not succeed in further reducing or stabilizing the numbers, then we are faced with a dramatic situation like in autumn,” said Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens). The occupancy in the intensive care units increased by 20 percent across Austria in the previous week.


“Against this background, of course, it is a game with fire if you give people the impression that we can now talk about wide-ranging openings when it comes to the fact that we in the intensive care units can actually use the capacities in the health system now surely have to come until after Easter ”, said complexity researcher Peter Klimek from the Complexity Science Hub Vienna to“ Wien heute ”.


More intensive care beds occupied again


“We are where we were at the beginning of October,” says Health Minister Anschober in view of the coronavirus numbers. In Viennese hospitals, abandoned Covid-19 wards are now being restarted.


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“That is definitely worrying”


In the Viennese hospitals one asserts that there is sufficient intensive care bed capacity. You have the situation well under control, but you still have to take into account: “These intensive care beds are missing for the care of other patients, so that is definitely worrying. Because now we won’t be able to process our planned operations so well, ”says Kettner.

“The situation now arises that there could be a point in three federal states where optimal care can no longer be guaranteed for all patients in the intensive care units. Unfortunately, one of the three federal states is also Vienna. That means, unfortunately, we estimate the chances at about 1: 2 that it can come to that point within the next two weeks, ”said Klimek.


“Tipping point at 700 to 800 beds”


The health manager and government advisor Herwig Ostermann said in the Ö1 morning journal on Friday that the situation could become very dynamic and dangerous with the increasing spread of mutations. “The tipping point is somewhere in the range of 700 to 800 beds,” says Ostermann.


Klimek: Vaccinate high-risk patients quickly


Experts appeal to adhere to the applicable measures. Anschober wants to expand the FFP2 mask requirement, as well as the police controls. At the same time, vaccinations should pick up speed: Complexity researcher Klimek is now also appealing to vaccinate high-risk patients as quickly as possible.


“The next point is that it is about protecting the population at risk in order to reduce this hospitalization rate,” said Klimek. According to the Minister of Health, on March 15th it will be evaluated again whether the announced opening steps can actually be set at the end of the month.