Rising Covid-19 cases put Toulouse hospitals under strain

The CHU Toulouse has initiated a “hospital under strain” plan due to rising Covid-19 hospitalisations, meaning 20% of hospital procedures could be cancelled.

29 September 2020
An empty hospital bed. an increase in Covid-19 cases has put Toulouse hospitals ‘under strain’CHU Toulouse initiated the plan after seeing 27 Covid-19 patients admitted in just 10 days, with 23 in intensive care units.
By Joanna York

The hospital group made the "hôpital en tension" decision with experts from regional health body l’Agence régionale de santé yesterday, September 28.

In a statement, the Toulouse hospital said the Covid-19 health situation required an internal reorganisation, including the possibility of cancelling 20% of non-urgent hospitalisations or hospital procedures.

The cancellations should “allow teams to reserve around 50 beds every day divided between departments and terminals to accommodate patients coming out of A&E”.

Sharp rise in Covid cases in intensive care

On Monday, September 28, 81 people were hospitalised with Covid-19 in CHU Toulouse, with 24 in long-term intensive care and 12 people in short-term intensive care. 

This represented a rise of 27 Covid-19 patients in 10 days, with 23 in intensive care units.

At the height of the pandemic this year, on April 4, 93 people were hospitalised with Covid-19 in CHU Toulouse. There were 67 in long-term intensive care and 19 in short-term intensive care. At this time, all non-essential surgery was cancelled.

 

Plan blanc initiated in other regions

The plan currently in place in CHU Toulouse is a prior step hospitals can take before initiating a more serious plan blanc.

In France, plan blancs have already been initiated in hospitals in Ile-de-France, Lyon, Montpellier, Saint-Etienne, Angers and La Rochelle.

The health ministry describes a plan blanc as permitting measures such as “the immediate mobilisation of any methods available in case of an influx of patients, or to deal with an exceptional health situation”. 

According to a law made on August 9, 2004, all hospitals must have a plan blanc protocol prepared in case they need to deal with events such as large-scale terrorist attacks or the current health crisis.

This initiation of a plan blanc in a hospital means health workers, materials and logistics can all be geared towards dealing with a specific health issue.

Covid cases rising in France

Hospitals in France are anticipating more Covid-19 patients as cases continue to rise. 

The latest figures from health body Santé publique France released on September 28, shows there were 81 deaths in the previous 24 hours and the rate of positivity is now at 7.5%.

In the past seven days, 4,069 people have been hospitalised with the virus and there are 780 Covid-19 patients in intensive care in France.

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