Archive image of the Son Espases ICU. | T.Ayuga

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Son Espases hospital in Palma has activated a new phase of its contingency plan for the high hospitalisation of COVID-19 in this sixth wave of the pandemic. Specifically, it has enabled eight ICU beds in case they are needed and has hired 16 nurses and 12 auxiliaries. Sources at the hospital have pointed out that this is not the first expansion to be carried out and say that action is taken whenever necessary.

Son Espases hospital has 44 ICU beds under normal circumstances, of which 35 are currently occupied by patients with coronavirus; the remaining eight are occupied by patients with other pathologies. The hospital has specified that if necessary these eight patients will be transferred to the new spaces available and these beds will be used for patients with COVID-19.

Although the cumulative incidence at 14 days has been falling for several days and the cumulative incidence at 7 days indicates that infections will continue to fall, hospital admissions take longer to reduce. First the number of infections decreases, then the number of admissions to the ward, then the number of ICU admissions and, finally, deaths. For this reason, Son Espases has prepared for a possible increase in the pressure of care.

Currently, 50 percent of patients with COVID-19 who are admitted to the Son Espases ICU are not vaccinated. For this reason, the health authorities are calling on the public to get inoculated. In the Balearics 83.89 percent of the target population has the complete vaccination schedule, a figure well below the national average, which according to the Ministry of Health is 90.7 percent.

Experts assure that the vaccine against COVID-19 prevents the disease from being contracted in a more serious form. The deputy director of Hospital Care at IB-Salut, Paco Albertí, pointed out that citizens between the ages of 60 and 70 who are not inoculated are 20 times more likely to end up in an ICU.