Vaccinations and advancements in medicine mean fewer in the ICU for COVID-19

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – While hospitalizations are getting to levels we saw back in January of last year, state numbers reveal the number of COVID-19 patients going to the ICU is far lower.

Doctor Andrew Artenstein with Baystate Health told 22News vaccines and booster shots are a major help.

“That makes a huge difference in the severity of illness because those people generally are not getting severely ill, are not getting hospitalized, and are not dying from COVID,” he told 22News.

Doctor Artenstein said handling COVID-19 is a double edged sword these days, “They’re worse in the sense that we have more infection in the community than we’ve ever seen and we have more hospitalizations for the reasons I’ve described because there is more infection.”

However, statewide date shows in April of 2020, hospitalizations peaked at roughly 4,000 statewide. In that same timeframe, the number of people in the ICU reached about 1,100.

In comparison to today, where hospitalizations are now at approximately 2,500 with 416 in critical care. Doctor Artenstein said advancements in medicine have made things easier, with half as many people on ventilator and therapeutics just starting to arrive.

“Over the next few months I’ll expect we’ll have oral therapies in enough supply that may be a game changer,” he said.

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