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Doctors warn intensive care units still face months of extra pressure

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Hospitals across the UK opened more than 2,250 extra intensive care beds to cope with the demand from coronavirus patients during the last 12 months – the equivalent of 140 new intensive care units.

In a new report, the Intensive Care Society (ICS) warned pressure on hospitals could last for many more months with makeshift beds for critical care patients having to stay open, hampering efforts to restart more routine services.

The ICS said that 20,675 patients had been admitted to intensive care in England, Wales and Northern Ireland by 5 February. It said patients had a median length of stay in the first wave of 12 days, a lot longer than normal with 2,251 extra beds occupied in January 2021 compared to last year.

The ICS warned thousands of extra staff drafted in to look after critical care patients would be needed for months to come and this was despite staffing levels been stretched to dangerous levels.

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Source: The Independent, 10 February 2021

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