February 4, 2023

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High workload in hospitals: – Demanding situation

The high flow of patients and high levels of sickness absence among their own staff have caused many hospitals to increase preparedness recently.

Last is Vestre Viken, which goes from green to yellow at the hospital in Drammen on Tuesday.

The background is the high number of patients with infectious diseases and fractures, combined with high occupancy of beds, high sickness absence, the health authority writes in a press release.

This situation is particularly demanding in emergency departments and medical units.

– Unfortunately, some planned activities have to be postponed, says Ulrich Spreng, special director of Vestre Viken HF.

At the branches in Bærum and Romerike, a green alert has been set.

Many are on high alert

There is also Mars Health Phona increased preparedness. There is the same Hells Nord-Trøndelag, They confirm to Dagbladet.

Before this, the St. Olav Hospital, Nordlandskehuset HF, Sykehuset Vestfold HF, Sykehuset Inlanded HF, Vestre Viken HF, Helles Stavanger HF, Sykehuset Ostfold, Helles Møre og Romsdal and Lillehammer Hospitals have done this.

Advice: Assistant Director of Health Nakstad responds to wave of illness. Program Chair: Jostin Sletten. Video: Dagbladet TV
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At Sørlandet Hospital, as a result of the many infected patients, the department in Arendal has increased its readiness for green status.

– We are increasing the number of patients as a result of viral infections such as RS, influenza and covid-19. Mikkel Peter Høiberg, special director of Sørlandet Hospital, tells Dagbladet that this leads to an influx of patients and overcrowding in several departments in Arendal and Kristiansand.

– We expect respiratory infections to continue to rise, leading to further increases in hospital admissions and sickness absence among staff.

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The branches in Flekkefjord and Kristiansand are operating as usual.

– Very demanding

The University Hospital of Northern Norway (UNN) has also experienced a “significant increase” in patients with respiratory infections.

– For some departments in our hospitals, it is in great demand, Deputy Managing Director Einar Baghe tells Dugbladet.

Some wards are full, but there is no reason to increase hospital preparedness.

– Challenging but manageable situation. The burden on the hospital’s departments and staff increases, we are constantly preparing to discharge more patients, especially from the municipalities of Tromsø and Harstad, he says.

Large involvement: At the University Hospital of Northern Norway, the situation has been demanding in recent weeks as a result of the large influx.  Photo: Rune Stoltz Bertinussen / NTB

Large involvement: At the University Hospital of Northern Norway, the situation has been demanding in recent weeks as a result of the large influx. Photo: Rune Stoltz Bertinussen / NTB
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It is difficult to predict the above

Assistant Director of Health Espen Rostrup Nakstad tells NTB on Tuesday that it is difficult to predict when the peak of infections for corona and flu will occur.

– As far as Covid-19 is concerned, there has been no change in the number of inpatients for the last two to three weeks. For example, yesterday 368 patients were hospitalized with a diagnosis of Covid-19. On the other hand, the number of flu cases has risen steeply in recent weeks, so there is reason to believe that the flu wave will continue for a few more weeks. We hope to peak in January, says Nackstad.

As flat as possible

At Haugland University Hospital, an average of 13 children have recently been admitted with the RS virus. Corona patients and flu sufferers are also concentrated in large numbers. On Tuesday, 69 corona patients and 30 flu patients were admitted to the hospital.

– This means we have more than 100 patients with respiratory infections. There are quite a few, says managing director Evind Hansen.

He clarifies that many adult patients have a respiratory virus as a co-diagnosis and that this is not the reason they are admitted.

Hansen tells of a holiday season with a high rate of respiratory infections, and the staff struggled to keep the wheels running and care for patients.

Winter infection: Assistant Director of Health Espen Rostrup Nakstad answers questions about the infection situation in Norway. Correspondent: Christina H. Corneliussen/Dogbladet TV
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However, over the New Year’s weekend and into the new year, Haugland has seen patient flow tend to level off somewhat. This applies to both RS virus, corona and flu. Absence due to illness among employees also seems to be decreasing.

– So we are happy about the situation in the future. Hansen says it’s too early to judge growth.

Bed filled

At Oslo University Hospital, the number of newly admitted patients with the virus appears to be leveling off.

– but it will be more than two or three weeks from January – as expected. Medical director Hilde Myhren tells Talkblade that an increase from current levels cannot be ruled out.

Hospital beds are now full and will be available before Christmas and throughout the festive period. In other areas of the hospital, however, there is good potential, says Myhren.

In OUS, up to 10 per cent did not take sick leave in the run-up to Christmas.

So far, there is no need to increase the level of preparedness in OUS.

Akershus University Hospital (Ahus) is also very busy in the run-up to Christmas. However, the hospital says attendance is low over Christmas and New Year.

– Overall, the operational situation of emergency departments and many wards has been demanding in recent weeks.

Despite the massive turnout, the Ahaz didn’t step up preparations.