BET À DAY
The TVA Nouvelles team had privileged access to the hot zone, where patients with COVID-19 are treated, at the Hôpital de l'Enfant-Jésus, in Quebec City .
On Tuesday, it was treating the highest number of COVID patients since the start of the pandemic, with 150 people hospitalized, including 16 in intensive care.
Dr. Jean-François Shields, intensivist and emergency physician at the CHU de Québec, explained that the length of stay for patients on respiratory assistance was 10 to 15 days.
“People often come back to the hospital, it takes 24 to 48 hours for them to have COVID complications, they need more oxygen, and then we end up admitting them to intensive care,” said the doctor.
Dr. Shields noted that he was increasingly concerned that he would no longer be able to treat all patients and that he would have to put a prioritization protocol in place.
“A prioritization protocol is simple. It is you and your spouse who come to the emergency room with COVID. We have a bed available. Who do we put in palliative care? Who has access to intensive care beds? That’s what it means, a prioritization protocol,” he explained.
People admitted to intensive care in hot zones are also younger than those in previous waves. They are on average between 40 and 50 years old.
“What we notice a lot is that the clientele who is not vaccinated in intensive care is overrepresented and highly ill,” said Dr. Shields. It is about three quarters of people who are in intensive care who are not vaccinated.”
According to him, very young people, without comorbidities, have died. Others have survived, but remain with significant functional sequelae.
The subsequent rehabilitation can be painful.
“When we remove them from the respirator, they do not start their normal life again 15 days later. Most people, a year later, they haven't returned to work. It's not just the flu. It's not just a cold,” insisted Dr. Shields.
“A minority of the population seems to be saying 'well no, vaccination is not for me', but it's annoying, it gets boring, then it gets sick,” lamented the doctor.
Faced with the reopening of schools, and seeing that hospitals are increasingly at their wit's end, specialists are worried.
“Will it lead to an upsurge in cases if traffic increases?” wondered Dr. Shields.
– With information from Alain Laforest, TVA Nouvelles