Shutdown demanded by intensive care physicians: “Germany doesn’t need Bergamo”


Massive increase in patients: intensive care physicians demand immediate hard lockdown: “Germany doesn’t need Bergamo”

The number of infections in Germany is increasing dramatically – and the situation in hospitals is worsening. According to intensive care medics, there is only one way to prevent conditions like in Bergamo in the first wave: an immediate hard lockdown.

Over 20,000 new infections per day and over 200 deaths – the third corona wave is rolling. The infection process in Germany has been picking up speed again since mid-March: The reason for this is the mutation B.1.1.7, which, according to the Robert Koch Institute, is now responsible for 80 percent of new infections.

The first effects of this rapid growth are also already being felt in the hospitals: According to the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI), there were still 2,727 corona patients in German intensive care units on March 10, but there are now 3457 – i.e. over 700 Patients more within less than three weeks. The number of those who are artificially ventilated is also increasing and is now 54 percent.

Only one free intensive care bed per clinic

“We have to get down from the high numbers! Now. Immediately, ”warns Divi President Gernot Marx, who is watching developments with great concern. That is why, together with his intensive-care colleagues, he calls for a two- or even better three-week hard lockdown: “This can easily be achieved over the Easter holidays. This will save numerous human lives and protect even more from lifelong long-term consequences of Covid-19, “said the doctor.

“Germany does not need Bergamo or scenarios like in New York with patients on the floor who have to share a ventilator for two,” continues the Divi.

But even without further tightening of the lockdown, the prognoses look bad at first, because there are already only 1,644 free intensive care beds in Germany. With around 1300 intensive care units in the country, this means that on average there is only one free bed per clinic.

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A dramatic increase can hardly be prevented

That is shockingly little when you consider that there are also other patients in need of treatment. “Even without Corona, we already have two million intensive care patients to care for each year in Germany – there is also a backlog of operations from the second wave that still has to be managed,” Marx told FOCUS Online. One should also not forget that corona patients sometimes have to be cared for in intensive care for an extremely long time, depending on their severity. “Sometimes that is up to 25 days – in individual cases even more.”

Since even an immediate lockdown only takes effect after a delay, a dramatic increase in intensive care patients can hardly be prevented in the short term. “This number will continue to grow exponentially over the next two and a half weeks, no matter what we do now,” says Christian Karagiannidis, head of the Divi intensive care registry and the Ecmo center at the Cologne-Merheim Lung Clinic. With more than 5,000 Covid 19 patients, the situation will be critical, he warns. Therefore, his appeal is: “Something has to happen now.”

Forecast model shows what happens with and without lockdown

How dramatic the situation could develop in the next few weeks is also shown by a Divi forecast model that Karagiannidis set up together with his Divi colleague Steffen Weber-Carstens and mathematician professor Andreas Schuppert, head of the Institute for Computational Biomedicine at RWTH Aachen University to have.

“Our model shows possible courses. Except for more than 4,500 patients, we will definitely go up again. That is inevitable, ”he predicts.

If a tough lockdown is decided by politicians, one could manage to lower the curve again with just over 5000 intensive care patients. “But if we wait a little longer, and only stop at an incidence of 300 in late April or early May, we will see more than 6000 people with Covid-19 in intensive care. I doubt whether we can do it, ”Karagiannidis warns.

Sad peak in January with almost 6000 patients

Especially since the last dramatic climax in the intensive care units was not too long ago and clinics and medical staff are still lagging behind. “Between Christmas and the beginning of January, when we treated almost 6000 Covid patients, the population did not even notice how tight it was. Numerous people were flown north from the east or the center of Germany. A show of strength that we managed – but three months later we don’t need it again, ”warns Weber-Carstens. There are already requests for relocations due to local capacity bottlenecks. In Thuringia, in particular, things are not looking good in this regard.

In view of this development, Marx and his colleagues made an urgent appeal to politicians and the population: “Nobody wants a hard lockdown. We all want our old life back. But we are currently in what is probably the most critical and decisive phase of the pandemic, ”explains Marx.

The British mutation leaves us with no choice but to do a tough lockdown over the Easter break. After that, we could allow public life again at significantly lower incidences with rapid tests, PCR tests, vaccinations and apps – instead of thinking about relaxation at the completely wrong time.

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Shutdown demanded intensive care physicians Germany doesnt Bergamo


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