LEGAN É, Spain (AP) – A voice shouts. “Red alarm”. from the end of the corridor. An ambulance has just arrived in the Spanish capital, the last resident of a nursing home. He is in an extremely difficult situation, time is very important.
A well-trained choreographer immediately moves in motion, pouring adrenaline through the ambulance department at this suburban hospital in Madrid.
A year ago, the medical team followed up on the steps they had taken a year before being admitted to Sergio Ochoa Hospital for the first case of coronavirus. Only when the elderly man stabilizes և moves to the so-called “red zone”, an area reserved for the treatment of COVID-19, the team slows down and returns to their computers.
A year ago, the crew had to deal with the intensification of the fight against the unknown enemy, the fear of returning the virus home, the lack of protective clothing, and the bodies lined up in the morgue. At the peak of the infection, the corridors of this facility, which had about 400 beds, were crowded with chairs and stretchers, as there were no more beds for the steady flood of new patients.
The 10 psychiatric beds, which had intensive care options, had to be expanded to 30 through great creative and hard work. Ivan Andres, who cites the hospital’s maintenance needs, says oxygen tank deliveries, which usually reach once every three days, increase to twice a day.
“There were simply no cylinders,” Andres recalls.
Doctors, nurses, security guards, cleaners, other hospital staff are still struggling with the emotional exhaustion of those days, since then, after two other waves of the virus, “before the end of the year”. Many accept that an epidemic is a life-changing experience.
Dr. Manuel Delgado, who heads the hospital’s psychiatric services, says consultations with hospital staff are growing, and that the delay in vaccinations at the moment and the uncertainty of not seeing a clear end to the epidemic are sources. most of the anxiety.
“It is tedious to know when it will end,” said the gate doctor at his psychiatric ward. “Are we in doubt that we will finally get rid of it, or have we missed many things that we will never recover?”
Dressed in full protective gear, the medical staff walks under an improvised sign, which reads: “Together we will take it out” է goes to the intensive care unit, where a sixty-year-old man cries. The mood is low, but physiotherapists relax for a moment as they stretch the patient’s body.
Human touch is highly welcomed by COVID-19 patients who spend a long time in isolation. When the team is finished և going to leave, a nurse asks: “Good?”
The man, gathering all his strength, tries to answer with his thumb.
Instead of entering into a blockade like last year, this time Spain chose to maintain a weak economic recovery; instead, it imposed a night curfew, restrictions on social gatherings, and control over the mobility of its regions. Most schools and shops remain open, including bars and restaurants in areas like Madrid.
This approach worked. The two-week moving rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population, which is the main criterion considered by epidemiologists and policy makers, fell from above 900 in late January to 160 on Wednesday. More than 3.2 million people have been infected and more than 70,000 have died since the epidemic began.
The situation has improved since the first days when the hospital was unable to accept all patients who needed mechanical respiration. But not everyone can maintain an invasive technique that requires intubation հաճախ, often for long periods in the intensive care unit, downward, in a prone position, which helps the lungs pump oxygen.
Former Santiago Collado, a retired driver with a health condition, has lost his heart in recent days, shortly after his son’s last visit in a protective suit was allowed.
It was something that would have been impossible a year ago, when even heartbreaking visits were banned.
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