Misc 21/10/2020

Catalan hospitals postpone non-urgent operations to deal with Covid spike

Health Department warns of increased pressure on intensive care and hospital beds

Marta Rodríguez Carrera
2 min
Entrada de l'Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge

MartorellCatalan hospitals have introduced emergency plans to deal with the second wave of coronavirus. This comes as the rate of contagion, the risk of a spike and patients in intensive care all rose. For the last 15 days, the health system has been noticing a constant increase in patients that has led the management to start thinking about postponing operations and non-urgent consultations, freeing up staff and space.

The situation is worrying but, for the time being, the Health Department is not cancelling all ordinary activity, as it did in the spring spike, hoping that the insistent calls to reduce social interaction and, above all, new restrictions put in place in recent days will end up being effective and delay the speed of transmission. Like at the beginning of the pandemic, it is a matter of safeguarding the health system as much as possible. The Health Department has asked citizens to "close ranks with the healthcare system".

The latest figures on the impact of the coronavirus do not inspire optimism. Two weeks ago there was a turning point, a change in trend that accelerated the application of restrictions. Of the 915 beds in ordinary ICUs - not counting the extra ones added during the first wave - 80% are already occupied by patients, 38% of whom are suffering from coronavirus. Just two weeks ago this group represented only 18% - half the current figure. Deputy director of the Catalan Health Service, Marta Chandre, also pointed out that the number of Covid patients in hospitals has increased from 7% to 14.5% in two weeks. The arrival of the flu epidemic and the impact of other respiratory diseases helped by the cold weather may further complicate the situation in the centers, warns Salut, emphasising the importance of following the advice on hygiene and avoiding unnecessary social contacts.