ICU, ventilator occupancy rise, hospitalisations fall in 10-day period
Mumbai’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and ventilator bed occupancy has gone up in the past 10 days, even as the city’s overall Covid-19 hospitalisations have recorded a dip
Mumbai: Mumbai’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and ventilator bed occupancy has gone up in the past 10 days, even as the city’s overall Covid-19 hospitalisations have recorded a dip.
The ongoing third wave, driven by the Omicron variant, started in the last week of December, and it is already receding in Mumbai. But the city experienced very high daily cases, with the peak touching 20971 on January 7. Over the past four days, the daily cases have been hovering around 6,000.
On January 11, the city had 876 Covid patients in Intensive Care Units and 526 on ventilator support in city hospitals, according to the data collated by the Brihanmumbai Corporation (BMC). On that day, the total ICU beds were 2,728 and ventilator beds were 1,541; the occupancy was 32% and 34%, respectively.
On January 20, the number of patients on ICU and ventilator beds was 989 and 584, respectively. The total number of ICU beds on Thursday were 3114, and ventilator beds were 1512 (these are dynamic numbers, as the civic body has the capacity to expand the number of hospital beds); the occupancy was thus 32% and 38%, respectively.
Interestingly, the overall hospitalization numbers dropped from 7,283 to 4,857, even as the total hospital beds in the city went up from 22,445 on January 11 to 23,911 on January 20.
“There is always a lag of a few weeks between regular hospitalisations and ICU and ventilator admissions,” said Dr Shashank Joshi, member of the Covid-19 task force of Maharashtra. “Those who progress to severe disease require intensive care a few weeks later. Thus, ICU and ventilator admissions are more likely to rise a few days after the peak has passed,” he said.
Trends as expected
According to Joshi, the city’s current intensive care occupancy is largely among the unvaccinated, senior citizens, people with serious co-morbidities and those who are vaccinated but have failed to mount a good immune response.
“While Omicron is the predominant strain in the city, the Delta strain also continues to be in circulation. Doctors are seeing some patients with lung involvements which indicates that the Delta strain is very much there,” he said.
The city has recorded an average of six Covid deaths every day this month. With the rise in ICU and ventilator occupancy, an uptick in fatalities is expected.
“The deaths are likely to go up in the next few days, as serious patients are increasing,” said Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner. “However, a large majority of patients have been in home isolation during this wave, and a smaller number has required hospitalisation, compared to the previous waves,” he said, adding that ward war rooms and doctors have been advised to get people to seek medical advice and early hospitalisation to reduce the fatalities. “People who have co-morbid conditions and age-related risk factors should seek timely medical intervention,” he said.
Physician Dr Hemant Gupta said that the ICU admissions have not increased at an alarming rate. “A section of patients with serious underlying ailments and those who are unvaccinated are landing up in the ICU,” said Gupta who consults patients at the state-run St George Hospital. He said that the hospital’s 25-bed ICU facility was fully occupied on Thursday, but only 10 patients were on non-invasive ventilator support. “None of the patients was on mechanical ventilator support that requires intubation,” he said, adding that all ICU patients were stable.