Covid: Île-de-France hospitals soon to cancel 80% of medical procedures

Published by Laurent P., Cécile D. · Published on 26 March 2021 at 11h36
For the latest weekly press brief, held this Thursday March 25, Olivier Véran announced that Île-de-France hospitals might soon have to cancel 80% of medical procedures. Île-de-France regional health agency (ARS) already gave the “strong order”, in early March, to hospitals and clinics in the region, to cancel about half of their medical and surgical procedures to give room for Covid sick in intensive care units.

As the new case toll keeps on growing in France, and the UK variant is now dominating in Paris and Île-de-France, the Île-de-France ARS sounds the alarm. As a boom in Covid-19 cases in mid-March was expected, the ARS gave the “strong order” earlier this month to regional hospitals and clinics to cancel 40% of their medical and surgical procedures in order to free ICU beds for coronavirus sick.

Tweet reads: “Île-de-France: ‘strong order’ to hospitals and clinics to cancel 40% of their procedures (ARS to AFP)

This rate might now reach 80%, Véran says: “If we eventually make the 2,250 ICU beds (potentially foreseen in the region) available, 80% of the procedures shall be cancelled”, the Health Minister explains during the latest press brief on Thursday March 25. He went on: “On a daily-basis, for nurses, and also patients and their families, this situation is very hard to live. Choices are made in collectively, none of them is simple. Therefore, curbing the epidemic is not only taking care of the hospital, it is taking care of the hospital, obviously, of nurses, but it is first and foremost patients who might have their procedures delayed”.

Today, cancelations involve “between 35 and 40% of procedures”. Early March, Île-de-France ARS director general Aurélien Rousseau explained AFP that hospitals were “under very strong pressure”, with 84% of ICU beds taken in Île-de-France as that time, including about 70 to 80 admissions a day, and fewer discharges. The situation worsened since then.

He thought that if the pace remained so, the threshold of 1,127 beds available – as previously set – will be exceeded the same week. Rousseau preferred to “react quickly” and set a new threshold: 1,577 beds. A threshold about to be exceeded. According to Véran, “beyond 1,500 beds, to be reached in the coming days, we need Île-de-France public and private hospitals to prepare 2,250 ICU beds, only for Covid sick”, he stated this Thursday.

Despite a very lightened lockdown instated last week by Jean Castex, in Paris and Île-de-France, the coming days will tell when these ICU beds will be made available, and if outcomes expected can lower the increase in hospitalizations, to prevent cancelling too many procedures. A situation off to a poor start.

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