ICU cases creep toward new peak in French virus surge

The number of patients in intensive care in France is fast approaching a new peak

With ICU admissions continuing to increase by double digits on a daily basis, that November peak could be overtaken within days. Doctors are increasingly sounding the alarm that they may have to start turning patients away for ICU care, particularly in the Paris region.

When the pandemic first hit France, hospitals ended up with more than 7,000 patients in intensive care, a high point reached in April 2020.

But during that initial tidal wave of infections, hospitals stopped treating many non-COVID-19 patients to avoid becoming completely overwhelmed.

This time, as was also the case last November, hospitals are not completely clearing their decks of non-virus cases. While some nonessential surgeries are again being postponed, hospitals are still treating COVID and non-COVID emergencies, putting some ICUs under intense and worsening pressure.