Australian emergency nurses fear that an outbreak of COVID-19 could overwhelm the medical sector


Nursing managers are concerned that an increase in COVID-19 cases could overwhelm Victoria’s intensive care unit unless vaccination rates increase.

“Last year we managed the majority of patients with acute illness in the ward, but I’m worried about that, [Delta strain] As infectivity increases, ICU beds will soon be available and will struggle to meet the demands of what the community needs, “said Kylie Fisher, Senior Emergency Nurse Manager at Western Health, at a press conference on August 30. I mentioned in.

“Get vaccinated. It keeps you, your community, your loved ones safe, keeps our healthcare professionals out of control, and patients when they need our help. It’s the best way to be able to support you, “she added.

Fisher’s concerns arise in a call for more nurses to work in New South Wales as the state’s health system struggles to deal with the proliferation of daily COVID cases. NSW recorded 1290 cases and Victoria recorded 73 cases on August 30th.

Fisher said in a speech last year that the nurses in the ward felt “overwhelmed” and “sometimes wept” and that the nurses would comfort each other. In 2020, more than 400 COVID-19 patients were admitted to Western Health’s Sunshine Hospital.

“I saw blood over the ridge [the nurses’] Nose and ears by wearing PPE for 12 hours at a time, “she said.

“They began to worry about how to support their ward colleagues while caring for an overwhelming number of acutely ill patients.

“They will come to me and say,” Kylie, it’s like I’ve never seen. The patient is young and healthy, the next one is fine, the next one is taken to the ICU. I will go. “

Acknowledging how difficult the blockade is for Victorians, she says patients with the Delta strain of COVID-19 are in intensive care at a faster rate than last year, and patients are admitted directly to the ICU. Said.

Health Minister Martin Foley said on August 30 that the number of cases in the state was “stagnation” and that the blockade was working. However, he added that restrictions could be relaxed before the 70 percent vaccination target was met.

“For most of the 18 months, there were public health restrictions on various iterations,” he said.

“If we succeed, I think we can work on it. [in driving down the spread of cases], There are various restrictions. “

Brett Sutton, Victorian Chief Health Officer, said it was difficult to determine if the state could return to zero cases and urged more Victorians to be vaccinated.

Meanwhile, Victorian epidemiologist Catherine Bennett reportedly said measures to contain the outbreak, such as a curfew and a five-kilometer travel restriction, and the state’s goal of zero cases should be abolished. increase. Age..

She acknowledged that the state government would eventually be unable to contain the outbreak and added that it would lift some restrictions that were not a major contributor to the infection.

AAP contributed to this report.

Henry Jom