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Groote Schuur tripled ICU beds for COVID-19 patients

The Western Cape Health Department said that Groote Schuur, as well as Tygerberg Hospital, have enough bed capacity for additional patients.

Groote Schuur Hospital. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - A Groote Schuur Hospital ICU manager said that they've had to triple the number of ICU beds to make provision for COVID-19 patients.

Public health medicine specialist Dr Shrikant Peters said that they've had to change their service offering on a day-to-day basis to meet the increasing demand.

The Western Cape Health Department said that Groote Schuur, as well as Tygerberg Hospital, have enough bed capacity for additional patients.

Groote Schuur Hospital normally has about 20 beds to treat ICU patients.

Now with a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases, the capacity has been increased to around 60 beds.

Dr Shrikant Peters, the hospital's theatre, ICU and anesthetics manager, said that they've also made provision for more than 100 high-care beds.

"We've gone through a period where we've opened six SCUs every single week, which was unheard of. It needs millions of rands worth of equipment and consumables had to be put into units. We haven't had to open a unit for the last two or three weeks but we don't know what that means yet."

Peters said that they'd made counselling sessions available as one of the measures to support staff.

"The most important thing for our staff is that we're there for each other, we look out for each other, we debrief regularly with each other, we take psychosocial health very seriously and we're constantly re-evaluating how our services are being run."

One hundred and fifty-five COVID-19 positive patients are currently being treated at the hospital.

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