The response level at Landspítali hospital in Reykjavík was raised to a so-called activation level (third of four levels, the fourth being the emergency level) yesterday in response to the number of patients admitted to hospital with the H1N1 swine flu virus.
Landspítali is the white building. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
At the activation level, admission of patients may have to be limited and operations that can be postponed rescheduled, Fréttabladid reports.
Yesterday, 35 swine flu patients were being cared for at Landspítali, eight of whom were in intensive care. The previous day, 39 people were being treated at the hospital for swine flu, nine in intensive care.
Twelve patients were admitted in a period of 24 hours but two were discharged at the same time. The hospital’s operations have never been under such strain as since the swine flu epidemic began.
The intensive care unit was full. “There wouldn’t have been room for other patients requiring intensive care,” said Már Kristjánsson, supervisor of Landspítali’s contagion ward. If others had required intensive care, employees from other wards or who were off duty would have had to be called in, he explained.
Landspítali has acquired additional equipment in response to the swine flu epidemic. “Two artificial lungs and injection pumps that pump medicine into patients in intensive care,” said the hospital’s director Björn Zoëga. “We have also been looking at a dialysis machine for people with failed kidney function, which often accompanies such diseases.”
A total of 6,609 people have been diagnosed with influenza symptoms in Iceland. Since September 23, more than 100 people have been admitted to hospital because of influenza, almost 90 of whom were admitted to Landspítali. Three of every four of these patients have underlying diseases.
Click here to read more about the swine flu epidemic in Iceland.