The concern of the Catalan health workers about the lack of protective material of Nurse Superheroes And That’s How I Saved The World Shirt, the contradictions of the protocol to be followed in case of suspected contagion and the order not to carry out tests of the Covid-19 other than in case of serious symptomatology has overwhelmed the private chat groups and has become a major problem for the Generalitat. The feeling in Catalan hospitals is a loss of control. As complaints from health workers and patients on social media multiply, the suspicion that the Covid-19 “runs unchecked through the corridors and rooms” of Catalan health centres is already a matter of regular conversation between medical staff. “Yesterday we had 117 kronor in my hospital,” says a doctor from one of the largest hospitals in Barcelona. “At the moment, the situation is tense, but there is some control over attendance. But when it comes to transmissibility, this is a despicing. Covid-19 walks wherever it wants, among the staff and among the sick who have entered for other causes.” “And that’s because no screening is being done,” he adds. “We’re not testing anyone. So you can be in the hospital for a heart attack, but you’re being treated by a doctor who’s positive about Covid-19.”
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Few health workers are already hesitation that the general figures are unreliable. The coronavirus test has become a rarity of see and is already only practiced for patients with severe and obvious symptoms of Covid-19 infection. “Screening should be done to everyone in the hospital and those who have to go out on the street for work, taking advantage of the 60% or 70% of the population being confined to their homes,” says this doctor. “The hospital is right now a Russian roulette of infection. We’re like the Princess Diamond cruise, but in hospital.”
In some Catalan hospitals, nurses and doctors have begun recycling gowns and masks far beyond the limit considered reasonable by the sanitary staff themselves. In other cases, healthcare workers have entrusted with the help of private citizens to provide them with the useful material they can store in their homes. In some hospitals, the laundry service doesn’t even work anymore. In others, endoscopies have been made without an assistant due to lack of highly insulated masks.
To the difficulties of the impossibility of adequately protecting themselves from possible contagion, Catalan health workers have in recent days added the accumulation of several contradictory protocols of action. The protocol sent by the Ministry of Health last Saturday 14 to all Spanish hospitals divided the possible contacts into three: close contact with a coronavirus patient with protection; close contact with an unprotected coronavirus patient; and casual contact with an unprotected coronavirus patient. In the first and third cases, the Ministry of Health’s protocol ruled that the health care should continue with normal activity. In the second case, and provided that the exposure had been high risk, the Ministry ruled that the health carers should carry out home quarantine for a fortnight, with the possibility of assessing the return to work if at seven days, and after a diagnostic test, it was negative. But the subsequent sending of several protocols of the Catalan Health Service, not always coincident with that of the Ministry of Health, have plunged Catalan professionals into bewilderment.
In the one sent to The Catalan hospitals last Sunday 15, Catalan health centres are given the power to decide that asymptomatic professionals who have had high-risk contact with a coronavirus sufferer continue to work with a mask “after all the options of suitability of the staff have been considered”. The Generality protocol denies that of the Ministry of Health and leaves the albur of the centres that the health worker continues or does not continue to work.
The existence of different protocols of the Catalan Health Service that overlap with that of the Ministry of Health is added to the existence in some cases of the particular protocols of each center. This is the case of the protocol of the Benito Menni Adult Mental Health Centre in Sant Boi de Llobregat, which contradicts both the protocol of the Ministry of Health and that of the Catalan Health Service and that dictates that professionals who have had a high-risk contact with a coronavirus sufferer continue to work even without a mask.
Added to these problems is the chaos caused by the saturation of health services. Examples of cases in which citizens are admitted with pneumonia after being denied covid-19 testing accumulate in the dozens. It is the case of a citizen of Santa Coloma who, after a week with a fever and had been denied the coronavirus test, was finally admitted with pneumonia. Or that of another Catalan citizen who was admitted on Monday for bilateral pneumonia at the CAP of Can Ruti after it was impossible for him to contact 061. “The companion who visited him and two nurses had to be isolated, one of them after the patient coughed in her face,” the center’s sources say. On Twitter, David Córdoba, a nurse at the ICU of the Hospital de San Pablo in Barcelona, said that the figures of 33 ICU patients recognized by the Ministry of Health were false. 33 in UCI? Wish. If only the ICU where I work has 30 beds and are all occupied by Covid-19 patients.”
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“I get cases of people admitted with days of delay in taking the test,” says another Catalan toilet to THE SPANISH. “A neighbor’s mother spent four days in the ICU of the Dexeus Clinic for pneumonia, isolated just in case. There was a lot of reluctance to test him, which was ultimately negative. Hours later, he died.” Another Catalan doctor describes how health workers have had to manage with the available material. You have no doubt that at one time or another you will end up infected.
I, off, have gotten an FFP2 mask because all the patients we operate have cough, fever and an urgent surgical pathology. I mean, they’re all suspects,” says this doctor. “Since we get bloodstained, and not to lose FFP2, I put on two surgical masks to operate. I mean, after this week he’s probably sick.” A family doctor describes his grandfather’s case at a well-known hospital in Barcelona. “My grandfather was in the room and has started desaturating after five days of admission. I spoke to the nurse, told him that he was a doctor, that my grandfather was unstable and that he had ICU criteria. In the end, he’s been taken to the ICU. My grandmother had been calling 112 for three days and they told her to go in the shower to lower the fever.”
To the aforementioned complications are added others, such as the language barrier in the case of neighborhoods with a high percentage of immigrant population with a low spanish proficiency, such as that of the Raval of Barcelona. Population to which it is very difficult to do a phone follow-up. Reducing care for fragile chronic patients or inability to maintain the Home Care Program and Support Teams (PADES) has also become an added problem. “It took time to react, the situation was denied and hospitals are now saturated,” says another Catalan doctor. “Beds are missing and staff have started to get sick. And we haven’t even reached the highest stress point, which will come in the next few days.” The Government of the Generalitat had recognized, at the time of Nurse Superheroes And That’s How I Saved The World Shirt, 1,866 positives for coronaviruses and 228 sick health professionals. None of the doctors consulted by EL ESPAÑOL believe that these figures are true.