During the first wave of the pandemic, regional health managed to collapse. In the second, too, although with a much higher cost in deaths and income. But in this third wave, the overflow of hospitals is already a fact. So much so that we began to see images that in other communities were common during the most critical moments. La Arrixaca has installed 25 beds in the old Human Resources offices, next to the lobby of the general pavilion. Meanwhile, at the Reina Sofía the Physiotherapy gym has begun to fill up, converted into a provisional pre-admission unit, with a dozen beds for patients with pathologies other than Covid.
In the coming days, new spaces should be enabled, unless the avalanche of patients slows down. At the moment, it is not like that; the rate of income is hellish. The number of patients hospitalized for Covid rose to 970 yesterday (70 more than on Wednesday) and everything indicates that today it will exceed a thousand.
There are 130 Covid patients in ICUs, which represents an occupancy of 106% with respect to structural capacity. But, in addition, there are almost another hundred critically ill patients with other pathologies. In total, 225 patients according to SMS sources, when these units do not have more than 122 beds. Faced with this collapse, the ICUs have had to occupy the resuscitation services and the beds for Major Ambulatory Surgery (CMA). This is the case of the Reina Sofía, where yesterday there were 21 ICU patients with coronavirus, which represents 150% occupancy. But the situation in the rest of the hospital is also worrying, with four Covid plants already full – 137 patients in total – and a fifth that was preparing at forced marches yesterday afternoon. “The situation is critical; we have patients with non-invasive ventilation on the ward, and for now they can all be cared for. But at any moment, if the income is not stopped, we can begin to not be able to provide coverage to all, “warns Enrique Bernal, medical coordinator of the Covid team of the Reina Sofía.
“At any moment we may find ourselves unable to cover all patients”, warns Enrique Bernal
What worries the SMS most is the shortage of personnel. The beds can be installed in gyms or in outpatient clinics, as La Arrixaca plans, and there is a reserve of 800 respirators. But without enough nurses, “the quality of care will be affected”, admit SMS sources. The job market has remained at zero, while the teams of pulmonologists, internists and specialists in Infectious Diseases have been reinforced with doctors from almost all specialties. Surgeons are beginning to be recruited in some hospitals.
Rafael Méndez is collapsed again, while in the Yecla hospital, with 37 Covid patients on the floor, there is no room for anyone else, so the income is derived to Cieza.