Sixteen people have died from coronavirus at Craigavon Hospital

Sixteen people have died from coronavirus at Craigavon Hospital

Craigavon Area Hospital

Adam Morton

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Adam Morton

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Local Democracy Reporter

A TOTAL of 16 people have died at Craigavon Area Hospital since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak, it has been revealed.

The tragic figure came as the Southern Health and Social Care Trust’s Chief Executive, Shane Devlin, briefed the Stormont Health Committee.

It was also revealed that, as of today (Thursday, April 9), Craigavon Area Hospital is treating 57 Coronavirus patients, nine are in ICU and 33 suspected cases are awaiting test results.

On the Trust’s readiness to meet the anticipated surge in patients Mr Devlin said Craigavon Area Hospital should have the ventilator capacity to cope with the expected demand

Having informed the meeting of the number of patients currently being treated in Craigavon Area Hospital for Coronavirus, Mr Devlin said the hospital has 45 ventilators.

He was then asked if he would have the staff available to fully operate 45 intensive care beds where ventilators would be required.

It was at this point that the Trust’s Chief Executive made it clear that other measures would be put in place before such action was required.

“We do not have 45 intensive care unit (ICU) beds available,” clarified Mr Devlin. “We have 45 ventilators. What we are intending to do is expand our ICU capacity, so nurses in ICU and other areas can support a greater number of patients.

“I do not envisage we would ever get to 45 (ventilators in use). The number, we think, will be closer to 30. Simply having the ventilators does not mean we could use them, that would not be safe in our senior clinicians’ views.

“Once the number of ventilators in use gets to the mid to high 20s that would be the point at which we would be looking to make use of nightingale hospital.

“With the staff we have, I think that would be the appropriate thing to do.”

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