Misc 24/12/2020

Cerdanya Hospital increases tenfold the number of covid patients treated daily

The Campdevànol centre regrets that the perimeter lockdown "may be too late"

Maria Garcia
3 min
Una de les infermeres de l'Hospital de Campdevànol, aquest matí, atenent un dels pacients

Campdevànol"Cerdanya Hospital is in a situation of fragile equilibrium", the doctor and assistant general manager of the centre, Xavier Cunill, explained, and provided data on the increase in healthcare pressure that has been recorded: "Ten days ago we were admitting between 1 and 2 positives a day, and now between 12 and 14". In other words, there has been a tenfold increase in the number of patients they have to attend to on a daily basis: "And if it is not controlled, we will not be able to attend to the non-covid patients".

Now, Cunill has made it clear that today they have the capacity to care for all patients and emergencies that arrive, but that if the restrictions are applied now "it is to prevent the collapse within fifteen days". In total, the center has 44 beds, about 12 or 14 of which are occupied by covid patients and 14 more by patients without covid: "But the workload to care for a positive patient is not the same as a negative one: the work is heavier and more stressful"

As for the consequences of the ease of mobility restrictions, which has meant that since the summer every weekend the Cerdanya has been filled with visitors - most of whom leave on Thursdays to avoid municipal lockdown - the managing director said that it was difficult to know whether this had been the cause of the increase in the number of positives reported in the region since September.

"It is true that while there was reduced mobility, and social interactions were more restricted, we had fewer cases. And we had already warned that, because of La Mercè and the Puríssima bank holidays, there was a possibility that the risk of a relapse would increase because, the more mobility, the more social interaction", he reflected. But he doesn't think this is the time to look at whether mistakes were made: "Now is not good enough, we have to look towards the future".

The director of nursing at the Cerdanya Hospital, Xavier Caralt, added that the Christmas season tends to be busy due to the increase in visitors and tourist activities such as skiing. "And if we add the high impact of covid positives to that of tourist activities, this is where we are overwhelmed because we have a very high pressure with covid and non covid patients". And he has noticed how, after a week or ten days of a bank holiday, there is an increase in positive cases: "Visitors leave but the covid stays and, moreover, it is combined with the fact that people have relaxed the measures to avoid contagion".

In addition, one of the main obstacles of the centre is that it does not have an ICU, but only four beds for critical patients, which gives them the capacity to attend to them for the hours required before they can be transferred to another hospital. This means that they cannot attend to a significant number of acute patients and does not leave them much room for manoeuvre to increase their care capacity.

"Professionals are very anxious"

In the Campdevànol Hospital they assure that now they have less pressure than ten days ago: "We have 25 of the 50 beds occupied, and about 20 professionals isolated preventively from the 215 workers", the managing director of the hospital, Joan Grané, has specified, who believes that the perimetral lockdown established by the Catalan Government "is perhaps late".

The managing director considers that the fact that mobility was allowed during the Purísima bank holiday has affected them negatively and has recalled that contagion began to worsen after the bank holiday of October 12: "The risk began to grow and it has not stopped, despite the measures applied".

However, Grané has made it clear that the main problem they suffer in the centre is not the number of beds available, but the fatigue that the professionals accumulate: "They are very tired physically and emotionally, there are many people with a lot of anxiety, and others end up crying or giving up". In addition, as they have to transfer critical patients because they do not have an ICU, "you have a lot of anxiety waiting for their transfer because you suffer if case they get worse, and you also have a very bad time when they die", he admitted.

Likewise, the director of the center has regretted the lack of staff. "The Department of Health sent us a list of possible workers but, for example, there are people from Tarragona who will not come to Campdevànol. And we replace the casualties as we can", he acknowledged.

The hospital detected an outbreak in the center and, since December 2, it only accepts admissions of covid patients, and the negative ones are referred to hospitals in Olot and Girona, to prevent further contagion. And, despite the fact that the outbreak is "controlled and forgotten" - according to Grané - they still cannot carry out the assistance or surgeries that requires patients to be admitted.