Between 30% and 40% of patients currently hospitalized with a diagnosis of COVID-19 in Quebec have not received primary treatment for the disease. But should we question the weight that the Omicron variant places on the health system? In the opinion of experts, not at all.
Over the past week, the number of COVID-19 hospital admissions in the province has skyrocketed. As of Wednesday, 1,750 infected patients had occupied hospital beds. “The situation in hospitals is very critical and has deteriorated further with the number of infected or isolated workers,” the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) said.
At a press conference on Thursday, Quebec National Director of Public Health, D.C.R Horacio Arruda indicated that 30% to 40% of those admitted to the hospital were “not really related” to COVID-19. ” [Le virus] There is a lot of circulation, if you have a stomach problem and have to go to the hospital, they will test you and find COVID-19, but why are you in the hospital, ”he said. More accurate data on this topic are being collected.
For example, at the University of Montreal Hospital Center, spokesman Andrei-Anne Toussaint said, “The vast majority of our patients do not have the symptoms of Kovid associated with the disease and are more likely to be hospitalized for their disease.”
Of the 62 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at CIUSSS du Center-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, 19 were reported to have been admitted for this reason and 32 for another reason. For 11 patients, admission diagnosis was unknown. In CISSS de Laval, 26 out of 50 patients hospitalized in hot units were admitted due to COVID-19. At CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, this ratio was 49 out of 76 patients.
Geriatrician and epidemiologist, dR Quoc Dinh Nguyen said this data should be carefully analyzed because it is difficult to identify without a doubt that COVID-19 is not partially responsible for a person’s illness. Especially in elderly patients.
He gave the example of an elderly patient who was weakened by Kovid-19, who fell and broke his hip. Or another suffers from cognitive impairment, his condition worsens with COVID-19 and requires hospitalization. What is the main reason for joining the hospital? “You have to ask how valid this data is,” the doctor said.R Nguyen.
Kovid-19 is an opinion shared by Elaine Wadebonkor, an emergency physician who described the human body as “causing a lot of problems in many systems”. Under these circumstances, it is difficult to confirm that COVID-19 has no bearing on the symptoms of a person hospitalized with the disease.
The phenomenon of hospitalized patients with COVID-19, but without any symptoms, certainly exists. But it is very difficult to calculate.
DR Alain Wadebonecore, Emergency Physician
For dR Nguyen, it is “valid” to question the type of patients currently in the hospital. “Through the first wave, it became clear that hospital patients were first treated for COVID. There, it is even more obscure, ”he said.
Many precautions required
However, the specialist explains that the effect of the Omicron variant on hospitals is real. As soon as the patient gets Kovid-19, it must be burdensome to treat him. Due to protective measures, more personnel are required. Most people have less staff because they are infected with the virus.
Since the severity of the Omicron variant is still uncertain, great care should be taken with all patients with COVID-19.
We can not treat [les patients atteints de la COVID-19] As if they had a common flu. Whether or not a patient with Kovid-19 is primarily treated can be very disruptive.
DR Quoc Dinh Nguyen, geriatrician and epidemiologist
For dR However, if it is valid to question those who are hospitalized, we should still be very careful about the way we provide results. “Because, when we still need to take care of these 1,700 patients who are overweight for the system, we can trust people that the situation is not so serious.”
President of the Association of Experts in Emergency Medicine in Quebec, dR Gilbert Boucher believes that the picture of patients admitted to a hospital positive for COVID varies from one area to another. But whether COVID is treated “for” or “with,” he says, “all teams are heavy.” “There is pressure on the system,” D saidR Boucher noted that some companies are considering different solutions if the situation worsens, such as closing outpatient rooms in an emergency room.
According to dR Knowing that some of the hospitalized patients with Nguyen, COVID-19 did not receive treatment for this disease, it can be estimated that the effect on intensive care will be less than expected. “Having reliable data on this matter makes it interesting to plan for serious care needs,” he says.
How do I document the rest?
These questions arose about the number of patients admitted to the hospital when Quebec announced that it would no longer follow the daily evolution of the number of new cases of COVID-19 in the province, beyond its screening capacity. What do we have to trust now to follow the evolution of the pandemic?
“One thing is for sure, it takes a tool. You can not navigate through vision, ”said Roxanne Borges da Silva, a professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Montreal.
DR In England, Nguyen suggested that a random sample of residents be tested daily to make it possible to estimate the prevalence rate of the virus. According to him, Quebec can do the same. DR Nguyen also believes that the number of infected health workers can be tracked on a daily basis. Because these are still being tested. They are more susceptible to the virus than the average population, with health workers “living in the community”. “It gives us a clue,” the doctor said.
MMe Borges da Silva and dR Vadeboncœur argues that retrieving sewage analyzes can also provide an overview of the situation. “It is important to know how many people we are hospitalizing. But the increase in cases is always preceded by an increase in hospitalization. So you need to know the number of cases to see it coming, ”said the doctor.R Wadebonkur.
“From the moment we impose curfew-like measures on the population, we have an obligation to follow the situation as accurately as possible,” D said.R Nguyen.
In collaboration with Mary-Eve Morace, Press