Coronavirus High therapeutic pressure is expected by the turn of the year, various viruses threaten staffing: “We believe the rs epidemic will be severe”

In addition to the burden of the coronavirus epidemic, there is concern in hospital districts about influenza and rs virus epidemics, the scale of which is not yet predictable.

In hospital the number of patients with coronavirus disease is increasing, the flu is on the move and the flu season is about to begin. With the New Year’s Eve still ahead, what does the forecast for the adequacy of the nursing staff look like?

“The situation looks very worrying,” he says Matti Reinikainen. He is a professor of anaesthesiology and intensive care at the University of Eastern Finland and an intensive care physician at Kuopio University Hospital.

He has been involved in compiling nationwide reports on the state of play of intensive care for coronary patients during the epidemic.

“There has been no rocket-like increase in the need for intensive care in the last couple of weeks, but yes in the need for other hospital care. It is expected to be reflected in intensive care in the future as well, ”he says.

On Monday morning, there were a total of 44 coronary patients in intensive care units across Finland. The worst workload is in the special responsibility hospitals of Helsinki University Central Hospital (Hyks), where a total of 24 people received intensive care on Monday. On Monday, eight people received intensive care in the Tyksi area of ​​Turku, five in the Taysi area in Tampere, four in the Kuopio area and three in the Oulu Oys area.

However, the power department is only the tip of the iceberg in the load caused by the epidemic.

Coronary patients As a result, the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (Hus) has had to increase the number of intensive care units from 15 to 21, which was considered critical.

Read more: In eastern Helsinki, now the worst corona situation – the map shows how the infections are distributed in the regions

“We believe the RS epidemic will be severe.”

Vs. chief physician Jari Petäjän at this stage, however, the epidemic of hospital burden can already be predicted quite well. The number of coronary patients is projected to increase, but is likely to be moderate and steady thanks to vaccinations.

“The bigger thing is what we don’t know, that is, the scale of the epidemics caused by the flu and the rs virus,” he says.

The Rs epidemic has already begun in Finland.

“We are pessimistic and we believe the epidemic will be severe. The same was seen in Sweden. ”

There are currently twenty children in Hus hospitals being treated for the virus. There are about 200 places for children. According to Petjä, the severity of the virus can be perceived by the fact that about 70 adult coronary patients are admitted to hospitals with a total of about 3,000 treatment places.

Read more: About ten children spread respiratory infections to young children in Finland, about ten children in Hus hospitals – advice for parents same as for coronavirus

Last year due to the dilute season of influenza, the immunity of the population is worse than usual, Petäjä points out.

Also the Chief Physician of the Hospital District of Southwest Finland (VSSHP) Mikko Pietilä estimates that the flu season may become more difficult than usual as people move. The rs epidemic in children is also worrying, although the hospital district has so far coped with the situation.

“But this near future does not look very good,” says Pietilä.

There were a total of 23 patients in VSSHP hospitals on Monday, six of whom were in the intensive care unit. The figure is at its peak this autumn, Pietilä says.

“Probably with such large amounts, we will have to postpone at least some of the measures,” he says.

In addition to the intensive care unit and specialist care wards, primary health care is overburdened. According to Pietilä, part of this is explained by institutional epidemics, which are now declining.

“Coronary patients will also be transferred to primary care for follow-up care. As there are also difficulties in recruiting for these departments, patients cannot even be transferred to follow-up care in every situation, but remain on the side of specialist care, ”he says.

“In addition, municipalities are still burdened with infection tracing, vaccination and sampling, to which resources have been transferred elsewhere.”

Reinikainen is concerned about the resilience of employees. Even in the spring of 2020, in the face of an unknown threat, the spirit of solidarity was strong.

“The spirit was such that this would be overcome. Now the atmosphere is tired. ”

There is a shortage of nurses all over Finland. Although the long burden caused by the epidemic has been known since spring 2020, it has not been possible to increase the number of nursing staff – on the contrary, nurses are even leaving for other tasks.

HS said on Friday that caregivers are even leaving for Norway.

Read more: Nurse Maria, 30, got enough of Finland’s “inhumane conditions” – Now she is going to go to Norway, where she will receive appreciation and a thousand euros more salary

“The fact that the number of cases has clearly increased over the last two weeks adds to the worrying situation,” says Reinikainen.

“At the same time, there are still a lot of people who haven’t been vaccinated, so there may be some awkward times ahead.”

In the spring of 2020 the emergency law allowed for flexibility in the term of the care guarantee for other illnesses and freer planning of shifts than usual. Now the situation is different.

In addition, the flu and flu seasons cause sick leave, and the holidays during Christmas will begin soon. These are all reflected in the adequacy of staff.

Husin Petäjä admits that the situation will be challenging.

“The two ongoing epidemics and the imminent influenza epidemic together represent a major pressure and threat to staff adequacy for the turn of the year.”

It can be especially difficult to get a success during the holidays, says VikkoHP’s Mikko Pietilä.

“Efforts have been made to agree on compensation for extra shifts to a level that satisfies staff.”

The negotiations are aimed at agreeing on better alert money. It could also help during Christmas. According to Pietilä, however, this is a broader issue: the attractiveness of the sector must be improved in general.

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