WA COVID wave leaves respiratory emergencies actually lower than before

The vast majority died in aged care or hospice facilities, with a median age of 81.

Premier Mark McGowan said in many cases people died for other reasons but were recorded as a COVID-19 death due to the virus being present at the time.

“Deaths include people who died with COVID, not necessarily COVID, he said.

“The most important thing to look at in all of this is hospitalization, but especially intensive care admissions, because that gives us the best indication of the severity of the disease.”

The number of people presenting to WA emergency departments with viral respiratory infections.Credit:VirusWatch

WA Health chief executive David Russell-Weisz estimates that around half of hospital admissions with COVID are being treated for COVID symptoms, meaning around 22 patients have been treated for the virus in care intense this year.

The figure is one-twentieth of what the modeling predicted, with WA’s high vaccination rates leading to a significant reduction in serious illness and making the urgent purchase of 600 ventilators in 2020 redundant.

A nurse at a major hospital in Perth, whose name has been withheld to protect her work, said most people on the general COVID ward had accidental COVID-19 and had been transferred to the ward for recovery. infection control.

For those being treated for the virus, she said the most common symptoms were coughing and shortness of breath.

“It’s like pneumonia or the flu, your chest feels heavy and you have a productive cough,” she said.

“Patients usually need oxygen or intravenous medication or an antiviral.

“Some are coming from aged care so they need oxygen therapy and things that aged care nurses and doctors can’t provide, most are over 60.”

For Louise Edwards, an immunocompromised woman from Perth, her experience with COVID-19 was made easier after she signed up for a COVID Care at-home helpline while she had the virus over the long weekend of Easter.

Louise Edwards with her children.

Louise Edwards with her children.

“It was the worst time for me to catch it because I knew I was probably going to need antivirals and it was the only time my doctor was unavailable for four days,” he said. she declared.

The 41-year-old, who has a history of severe pneumonia, suffered from shortness of breath, exhaustion, dizziness, tachycardia and a cough during her infection.

After registering her positive rapid antigen test and opting for remote assistance via text message, the COVID Care service called Edwards every day for 10 days to make sure she was okay, and arranged a courier the day even to provide him with antivirals, steroids and an oxygen level monitor.


“The antivirals were brought to my house from the hospital by taxi, it was faster than if I had seen my GP,” she said.

Edwards also attended a respiratory clinic that checked the lungs of COVID-19 patients.

When her oxygen level dropped and she began to experience chest pains, she was taken by ambulance to hospital on the ninth day where she underwent a chest X-ray to rule out pneumonia and a blood test to check for infection.

She returned home the same day.

“I had four shots and an immune antiviral and still ended up going to an ambulance, and it was the first ambulance of my life,” she said.

“Honestly, I don’t think I would have survived anywhere else.”

McGowan said about 5,000 people have opted into accessing home service as well.

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