Growing Covid numbers seeing more young people in intensive care, consultant warns 2 weeks ago

Growing Covid numbers seeing more young people in intensive care, consultant warns

“We’re seeing people in their late teens really sick in intensive care units around this country."

The current surge of COVID-19 is seeing more young people, including older teenagers, being treated in intensive care - according to an ICU consultant.

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Dr Catherine Motherway, University Hospital Limerick,  said half of all patients in ICU in recent times have been younger than 54.

Dr Motherway told Newstalk Radio that the age groups being admitted to ICU in the latest surge range from 17-88.

“We’re seeing people in their late teens really sick in intensive care units around this country," she said.

“We’re seeing younger people – we know that half of the patients in the current surge that have come into ICU are under the age of 54 and I consider 54 very young.”

The Department of Health recently said 70% of COVID-19 patients in intensive care are not fully vaccinated.

"The situation in University Hospital Limerick is similar to the national picture – we’re seeing a very significant number of our patients are unvaccinated, particularly in the younger age groups,” Dr Motherway said.

“And obviously we are seeing some breakthrough infections, mirroring the national situation, particularly in the older patient population and people with significant underlying conditions that tend to affect their immune system.”

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Dr Ronan Glynn said increasing numbers of people have been admitted to hospital and intensive care in recent days.

"This is a significant cause for concern," he said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

“Vaccination, along with our continuing adherence to the public health advice, will break the chains of transmission and drive down incidence of COVID-19 in our communities.

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“If you display any symptoms of COVID-19, including a high temperature, dry cough, or flu-like symptoms, please stay at home. Do not go to work, school, college or socialise.

“I strongly encourage anyone who has not yet been vaccinated to take up the opportunity to do so as soon as possible to best protect yourself and those around you from COVID-19.

“Continue to regularly wash hands, wear a mask when appropriate – particularly in retail settings, on public transport and in healthcare settings – keep your distance, open windows and ventilate indoor spaces, and choose outdoors where possible for meeting others.

“This suite of measures will help stop the transmission of COVID-19, seasonal influenza, common colds and other respiratory illnesses that are more prevalent over the winter months.”

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