Maine hospitals see ICU demands for COVID-19 patients surge

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Hospitals in Maine are seeing near-record levels of intensive care demands for COVID-19 patients despite an overall lower patient count, according to a May 6 report in the Portland Press Herald.

Behind the numbers are younger, unvaccinated people who are experiencing severe cases of COVID-19. The numbers are approaching what Maine saw during the worst parts of its winter surge, with more virulent variants driving the uptick in part.

At Portland-based MaineHealth, the largest hospital network in the state, CMO Joan Boomsma, MD, told the Portland Press Herald while 3 in 10 hospitalized COVID-19 patients required ICU care during the winter surge, now at least 6 in 10 do.

In Lewiston, Central Maine Medical Center set a single-day record of 21 COVID-19 inpatients, with 16 requiring intensive care.

"It's a frightening shift – it's not even subtle," Al Teng, MD, chief of critical care at the hospital's parent organization Central Maine Healthcare in Lewiston, told the Portland Press Herald. "Patients who were critically ill in previous COVID waves were in their 60s, 70s and 80s, but now we're seeing them in their 20s. It's quite a stark progression."

Read more here.

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