Doctor Julio Rodríguez walks worried about the intensive care room of a Lima hospital no free beds, as is the case in the rest of Peru, which suffers a re-outbreak of the new coronavirus.
If a month ago there were five patients waiting to enter the intensive care of the “Alberto Sabogal” clinic, now there are 20 who seek to enter those rooms where the struggle between life and death is fought every moment.
“Unfortunately we do not have the capacity to attend to them,” said Rodríguez dressed in a suit that covers him from head to toe, in addition to a double pair of gloves and masks.
A doctor treats a covid patient in therapy at the Alberto Sabogal hospital in Callao, Peru. Photo: AP
Bed shortage added to a COVID-19 patient delay up to a month to leave an intensive care room have caused dozens to wait for a patient to recover or die in order to enter.
Social networks are now a space to beg for a bed.
While those infected rise to about 1,500 per day, the intensive care beds in Peru’s hospitals have collapsed. Entire regions of the north, center and south were left without space in their rooms. Only six intensive care beds remain in the capital, said the Ombudsman’s Office.
Decades of neglect sanitary have left Peru as one of the countries with the fewest intensive care beds in South America. The entire country has 1,656 beds, less than the more than 1,800 available in the capital of a neighboring country like Colombia, according to official data.
Tests through the window, in a house in Lima. Photo: AFP
Peru adds more than 38,200 deaths and more than a million infected since the pandemic reached the country almost a year ago, in mid-March.
The sounds of the monitors that measure oxygen saturation and other vital signs of the 30 patients of the “Alberto Sabogal” hospital are the sound atmosphere that accompanies the doctors, nurses and health technicians on a daily basis.
Rodríguez checked his sick, all sedated. Nurses recorded vital sign data on a clipboard, which was then entered into a computer. Some patients are even part of the same family, like a mother and her child who were infected in the young man’s marriage.
The protests of thousands in November Against the attitude of the local Congress that generated political chaos in Peru with three presidents in a week and the festivities at the end of 2020 boosted the number of infections, experts say, and the effects are observed in the rooms where Rodríguez works.
The care of the sick, all intubated through the trachea, they are extreme. They have to extract secretions from time to time, prevent the fever from increasing and the virus from complicating other organs of the body. They also change positions to help your lungs heal.
The work of doctors like Rodríguez, nurses and technicians is sacrificed. In addition to the risk of contagion, stress and hours without sleep are added because the work in a hospital does not stop. “And the patients keep increasing and they don’t stop,” Rodríguez said.