Thomas Staudinger, intensive care physician at Vienna General Hospital, pointed out the dramatic situation in the hospitals in ZIB2. The British virus mutation B.1.1.7 is not more contagious than the previous virus, but the number of severe courses is 60 percent higher: “The patients end up in the intensive care unit much faster”.
While in the past only every eighth to tenth patient had to be treated in an intensive care unit, it is now every third to fourth. In addition, younger people are increasingly affected by severe courses. According to Staudinger, there are two theories for this: Either this is due to the more aggressive British variant, or because many older people are now vaccinated.
“A quarter has no previous illnesses”
For people who are overweight, have high blood pressure or diabetes, the risk of a severe course is very high, but “a quarter of our patients have no previous illnesses,” said Staudinger.
Depending on how the word “triage” is defined, this is already the case: Currently, for example, tumor operations, lung and heart operations, “which one would have to work through quickly in a normal state”, have to be postponed.
Unlike in autumn, according to the intensive care physician, you are currently not at the top of the second wave, but “at the beginning of a rise”. In conclusion, Staudinger said: “It can get tight or beyond.”