Altnagelvin hit by sudden COVID rise

A number of medical procedures have had to be rescheduled due to a ‘sudden rise’ in Covid-19 admissions at Altnagelvin Hospital.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 1:43 pm

The Western Trust blamed a rise in community transmission for the increase in hospitalisations. The Derry and Strabane area has had the highest seven day COVID-19 rate in the north for the past three months but hospitalisation rates had been low. Over the past week the number of people being admitted to Altnagelvin with the virus has risen and this has had an impact on the delivery of services.

A spokesperson for the Trust said: “Due to a sudden increase in COVID-19 admissions to Altnagelvin Hospital in the last 24 to 48 hours and increasing rates of community transmission we had to reschedule a number of elective procedures (27 in total).

Altnagelvin Hospital
Altnagelvin Hospital

“The situation is being managed in line with our surge planning and is being kept under constant review. We have been in contact with the patients affected. The Trust recommends members of the public get their vaccine and continue to follow social distancing and public health advice at this time.”

Between July 1 and July 7, there were 566 cases of COVID-19 in Derry/Strabane giving a seven day rate of 374.1 per 100,000, up from 366.9 on Wednesday. This is by far the highest case rate in the north.

According to the latest Department of Health figures released yesterday Altnagelvin is now operating at 2.35% over capacity while COVID-19 occupancy at the Derry Hospital has risen to 3.82%. This time last week the figure for coronavirus occupied beds was just 0.87% - that’s a four-fold increase. At midnight on Wednesday 18 people were being treated as coronavirus inpatients across all Western Trust hospitals. A week ago there were only eight coronavirus inpatients across the Trust.

On Wednesday a woman in her fifties was admitted to Altnagelvin with SARS-CoV-2.

At least six have been admitted since last Friday. A man in his fifties and a woman in her forties were admitted on Friday, a man in his 70s was taken in on Sunday, a woman in her forties was admitted on Monday and on Tuesday a woman in her fifties was admitted.

According to the latest hospital figures released yesterday no ICU beds at Altnagelvin were being used to treat a COVID-19 patient; six of nine ICU beds (66.67%) were occupied by patients with other conditions and three beds (33.33%) were free. Three ICU patients in total were being ventilated - all were non-COVID-19 patients.

In terms of general occupancy 3.82% of beds at Altnagelvin were ‘COVID-19 occupied’, 91.18% were ‘other occupied’ and the hospital was operating at 2.35% over capacity; 5% were ‘awaiting admission.’ There have been no more deaths of patients with COVID-19 in Derry/Strabane. There have been 136 SARS-CoV-2 deaths in Derry/Strabane since the pandemic began. No-one has died locally since April.

The seven day COVID-19 case rate in Derry/Strabane is now up to 374.1 per 100,000, which is more than double the average rate for the north (172).The daily change in cases in Derry /Strabane between July 6 and July 7 was 93. In total 14,361 people have now tested positive for the illness in Derry and Strabane.

A breakdown of the number of vaccinations by postcode shows that 66,228 have been administered in BT48 and 69,314 have been administered in BT47 - 135,542 in total in Derry. And this week the Western Trust celebrated administering its 200,000th vaccine dose.

The Derry/Strabane COVID-19 positivity rate has risen to 15.6% per cent, according to the Public Health Agency’s Weekly Epidemiological Bulletin published yesterday. The highest test positivity in the north occurred in Derry and Strabane (15.6%) during week 26, the week to July 4. This was a significant rise from 10.5% the week previous. The north’s proportion positive in week 26 was 8.3%, an increase from 5.2% in week 25.