French hospitals will be forced to release Covid patients early as health system buckles

France: Hospitals discharging patients 'early' due to demand

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Medics in France will resort to discharging patients “early” as hospitals struggle to meet the demands for beds needed to treat coronavirus patients. Hospitals in the Paris region have reportedly become overwhelmed by rising numbers of virus cases with the pressure leading ICU doctors into making difficult decisions over when to discharge those receiving treatment. It comes as President Emmanuel Macron and other European Union leaders face a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

An ICU doctor at Bry-Sur-Marne Hospital, Serge Carriera told France 24 how the situation will force clinicians to take drastic action to free up beds.

He said: “Our backup plan is to discharge patients earlier than planned.

“It’s not perfect but it’s the only solution we have.”

Meanwhile, the director of Paris’ public hospitals has called on the French Government to do more to tackle the crisis in emergency wards.

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Martin Hirsh said: “If a lockdown isn’t possible, then we need other solutions.

“Not having a plan to slow this down is simply not an option.”

Unlike other virus hotspots in France such as Dunkirk, Paris does not currently have a weekend lockdown in force.

The country is being forced to transfer Covid patients as critical cases surge.

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It reported 30,303 new infections on Wednesday, rising above 30,000 for the first time in two weeks.

But more worryingly, the number of people being treated in intensive care remained at a three-and-a-half-month high – with 3,918 receiving critical treatment.

Italy has also been forced to announce drastic plans to help ease its hospital crisis as the third wave pushes intensive care wards to breaking point.

It has introduced a hospital train with 21 intensive care beds to transfer patients around the country when hospitals overflow.

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The specially-equipped eight-carriage train, with ventilators, oxygen supplies and other equipment, can carry 45 doctors and nurses.

It will be based in Milan in Lombardy, an area already being battered by the country’s third wave of infections.

Francesco Rocca, head of the Italian Red Cross, said: “The train was conceived a year ago during Italy’s first wave, when patients had to be flown from Italy to Germany – let’s see if we need it again now.”

New daily cases are predicted to hit 40,000 this month as the disease spreads rapidly across the country.

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