Low level of older people admitted to ICU concerning – Butler

Published on: 25 April 2020

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Older People Mary Butler says that she is worried that older people with COVID-19 being admitted to hospital may not be getting the clinical care they require.

“Latest figures published by Health Protection Surveillance Centre this morning (for cases notified to midnight on April 22nd ) show that 1,321 people aged over 65 have been admitted to hospital with COVID-19 and 124 of them have subsequently gone to an intensive care unit”, said Deputy Butler.

“That’s a rate of 9.4%, significantly below the rate for hospitalised cases as a whole – where 13.6% of cases have been admitted to intensive care. For people aged between 55 to 64, almost a quarter (24.8%) of their hospital cases have been admitted to ICU.

“At this stage 821 people had died from COVID-19 of whom 753 (91.7%) were aged 65 or over. By contrast, in the 55-64 age cohort 37 people had sadly died (4.5%).

“It would be nice to think that less than 10% of older people hospitalised needed admission to intensive care. However, given that 17% of people over 65 confirmed as having contracted COVID-19 have now died, I am not convinced that would provide an accurate picture.

“I accept that ICU may not be appropriate for many older people. Yet there is significant concern and apprehension that older people are not being treated fairly. The virus has rampaged through nursing homes and if older people do get admitted to hospital, these figures raise concerns that the full range of treatment may not be available to them in combating this terrible disease,” she concluded.