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Record high ICU entry in Saskatchewan.Some doctors suggest updating vaccine strategies

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Saskatchewan Intensive Care Unit (ICU) COVID-19 hospitalization is the highest ever. As of mondayA total of 47 COVID-19 patients are in the ICU, 31 of whom are in Regina.

A variant of concern (VOC) is now spreading to Regina. VOCs are variants of the virus that causes COVID-19, which are more contagious and tend to cause more serious illnesses.

The Regina Zone accounts for 803 (84%) of VOC cases with confirmed strains reported in Saskatchewan.

“The situation in Regina is certainly out of control,” said Dr. Hassan Masri, an intensive care specialist in Saskatoon.

“Unfortunately, here in Saskatchewan, especially in Regina, we were able to increase these numbers, so now we have a really full ICU in Regina and we need to divert patients to Saskatoon.”

Masuri said it hasn’t happened yet, but it’s possible.

Dr. Hassan Masri, an intensive care specialist, was one of the first people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the city of Saskatoon. (Don Somers / CBC)

Dr. Kevin Wasco, Ph.D. at the Saskatchewan Department of Health (SHA), said Regina’s ICU is skyrocketing and currently has more COVID-19 patients than any other illness.

He also confirmed that if COVID-19 ICU hospitalizations continued to increase, some Regina people in need of an ICU bed could be sent to another city.

Healthcare people familiar with the situation told the CBC that the breakdown of hospitalizations in Regina as of Monday was as follows:

  • Pasqua Hospital ICU: 7 beds in total, 3 positive COVID-19 patients, 1 recovered COVID patient.
  • Pasqua Medical Surveillance Unit (MSU): 5 overflow ICU patients, 0 positive COVID patients.
  • General Hospital Medical ICU: 10 beds in total, 10 positive COVID patients, 1 recovered COVID patient.
  • General Surgery ICU: 12 beds in total, 11 positive COVID patients.
  • General Heart Disease Care Unit: 5 overflow-positive COVID patients.

ICUs in other cities, such as Moosejaw and Swift Current, have also added additional beds because they have “exploded beyond capacity,” according to Wasco.

“This is real. It’s filling the ICU right now — literally full —” he said.

If the ICU reaches the “limit”, Wasko said that some people in need of ICU care will not be able to get it, but SHA can conduct field hospitals as needed.

“Unless you actually step into one of these overcapacity ICUs, it can be very difficult for the general public to understand the significance of the situation,” he said.

“If you don’t actually see it and face it, it can be difficult to really understand how realistic it is.”

Mr. Wasco said it was difficult to predict when the ICU would reach its limit, but more VOCs have been reported across the state: “If we continue on the path we are on, it will be time. It’s a problem. “

Patients who recover are marked as such only after they are no longer contagious, but may still require hospital or ICU care.

Hear | Dr. Kevin Wasco starred in the Morning Edition of CBC Saskatchewan on Tuesday

Morning Edition-Saskatchewan11:55Reed of a doctor in Saskatchewan.Health authorities talk about the spread of COVID-19 mutants in the southern part of the state

Dr. Kevin Wasco says a variant of COVID-19’s concern is filling the intensive care unit with young patients. 11:55

Young people filling the ICU

“The other important story of all this is the age group that fills the ICU,” Masri said.

“There are many patients in their 20s, 30s, and 40s … This variant, which is spreading very rapidly in Saskatchewan, has far more serious effects on young people than the original COVID virus. It seems to be exerting. “

Masuri said it was “very uneasy and very rare” to see young people fighting for their lives in the ICU.

One of the reasons young people are more affected, according to Wasco, is that most older people in Saskatchewan are vaccinated. In short, young people are more vulnerable to COVID-19 and VOCs.

In light of this, Masri suggested slightly tweaking the vaccine strategy to include essential workers sooner.

“As you know, there are people who work every day in grocery stores and truck drivers, or even healthcare people who are at very high risk of being asked to go to work every day, but they are still. You may not have been vaccinated for two, three or four months from now. ”

Mr Wasco said reflecting Masuri’s sentiment, the state government should consider adjusting its vaccination program to prioritize essential frontline workers.

Regarding state restrictions, Mr Masuri said the government should reconsider opening the bubble and easing such types of restrictions. He also said that rapid testing was not fully utilized in states and countries.

Masri emphasized that this is not just a Regina issue, but the entire state should be prepared.

Meanwhile, Wasco admitted that many were fed up with COVID-19 and its associated restrictions, but said it was more important than ever to be vaccinated as soon as possible according to the protocol. ..

“There is great hope for vaccines to come, but it will take months before they actually get their first dose in everyone’s arms and begin to affect them,” he said.

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