Covid hospital admissions in Birmingham and Solihull have spiked in the past week with total admissions doubling in just three days.
The third Covid wave appears to be well underway in the country and region with coronavirus case rates rising in the week most restrictions imposed by the Government were lifted on Monday (July 19) – known as ‘Freedom Day’.
The latest Covid admissions figures for Birmingham show a big jump this week, with 171 Covid positive patients currently in University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust sites as at 2.30pm on Wednesday (July 21).
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Just days ago, on July 17, there were 71 patients with Covid at the Trust’s hospitals, with 85 admissions from Monday to Wednesday.
There are almost twice as many men in hospital with Covid, compared to women, 105 to 66. And there is a broad spread of age ranges, with around a quarter of those admitted with Covid under 40.
There were two under 18s, eight aged 18 to 24, four from 25 to 29, 11 aged 30 to 34 and 15 aged 35 to 39 in UHB hospitals with Covid as of 2.30pm on Wednesday (July 21).
The spread continued to be pretty even through the higher age groups with 11 aged 40 to 44, 13 aged 45 to 49 and nine aged 50 to 54.
In the older age groups more at risk of severe effects of Covid there were 15 aged 55 to 59, 11 aged 60 to 64, 12 aged 65 to 69 and 16 aged 70 to 74.
While the majority of the oldest age groups have been double vaccinated now, there were 14 aged 75 to 79 with Covid at UHB sites, 15 aged 80 to 84 and 12 aged 85 to 89. There were three more aged 90 to 94 but none above that age group in hospital.
Of those 171 Covid patients, 61 are at Heartlands Hospital, 61 at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, 48 are at Good Hope and one at Solihull, which the Trust is looking to keep ‘Covid-free’.
And the intensive care units are starting to get busier too. A little under a week ago Dr Ron Daniels an intensive care consultant with UHB Tweeted: “Intensive Care seems to be getting busy again, sadly. Just saying.”
UHB currently has 26 patients in intensive care and high dependency units at its sites who have tested positive for Covid – 11 at Heartlands, five at Good Hope and 10 at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. A day ago that was 22 in ITU, while on July 1 there were eight patients in mechanical ventilation beds. It is still well below the previous peak
The Trust has now seen 2,886 deaths of Covid positive patients.
While the Government lifted social distancing and mask wearing requirements on Monday, the Trust said as it had been ‘hardest hit by Covid-19’ it was to continue to do all it could for its patients and staff.
In a statement the Trust said: “We are a large acute trust and continue to see an increasing numbers of Covid-19 positive patients from across our region needing care. At this difficult time, the highest priority for the NHS remains the safety of staff, patients and visitors.
“Therefore, in-line with national NHS guidance, there will be no changes to our current visiting restrictions from July 19 onwards.
“Anyone visiting our hospitals will still be required to wear a face mask or face covering, unless they are exempt, and will need to socially distance in all areas of our hospitals and healthcare settings.
“This will be monitored by our security teams at all sites and is necessary in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19.”
It added: “Please remember that our hospitals and other settings are visited by some of the most vulnerable people in Birmingham and Solihull and as a healthcare provider we have a duty to protect them and ensure they can be treated as safely as possible.
“We thank you in advance for your cooperation, patience and understanding at this time.”
The Trust said it was trialling visiting pilots in ‘low-risk areas’ and will review its position.
Nationally there were 44,104 people testing positive for Covid on Wednesday (July 21) in the UK (the weekly figure of 333,870 up 35 per cent on the previous seven days), with 747 new hospital admissions in the 24 hours to July 14 (4,510 in the past week, up 38 per cent) and 73 deaths within 28 days of a positive test (366 in the past week, up almost 60 per cent on the previous week).
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