Monday 10 December 2018

ICU bed shortage: Doctors forced to take 'unnecessary risks' and 'tough choices' with critically ill patients

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Charlotte Ryan

DOCTORS are being forced to prioritise some critically ill patients and make tough decisions because of the shortage of intensive care beds in hospitals.

In today’s Sunday Business Post, leading medics admitted to having to "ration" life-or-death care due to severe bed shortages. Dr Tom Ryan, president of the Irish Hospital Consultants Association, noted that “we are effectively rationing life support”.

The number of people waiting on trolleys in Irish hospitals peaked at 677 this Wednesday.

He also mentioned that a number of life-saving surgeries are being delayed as patients would require a post-operative bed.

“None of this is safe,” Dr Ryan told the Sunday Business Post. “We are being forced to take unnecessary risks with other people’s lives. The human cost of this bed shortage is enormous.”

As the Australian flu becomes more prevalent this winter, surges in hospital admittances are to be expected.

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