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Shocking images of a COVID emergency room almost double its capacity in La Paz

The consistent increase in coronavirus cases throughout Spain and the consequent increase in healthcare pressure in the Emergency Department has left worrying scenes this Thursday at the La Paz Hospital in Madrid, where a COVID room of this service is located almost twice its capacity, by housing 21 patients, when it should only accommodate 12.

A cleaning worker during her working day in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) dedicated to coronavirus patients at the Ramón y Cajal University Hospital, in Madrid (Spain), on October 8, 2020. During this period

The room, which “lacks adequate ventilation” to accommodate this type of patients, currently houses both people with a confirmed CRP and others suspected of suffering from COVID-19, which increases the risk of the latter of contracting the virus if your test is ultimately negative, count to 20 minutes Guillén del Barrio, nurse in the La Paz hospital emergency room and delegate of the MATS union.

“The room is not ready. Furthermore, there is a higher concentration of viruses in the air, which means greater danger for the admitted and the workers. A patient with suspected coronavirus does not run the same risk if he is surrounded by 11 people than 20 “, he points out. He also emphasizes that this saturation has caused some of the people hospitalized there to remain sitting in armchairsrather than lying on a bed, as her condition would require. “They are overcrowded. It is absolutely unworthy,” he adds.

“They are overcrowded. It is absolutely unworthy.”

As for the reason for the congestion of this space, Del Barrio affirms that “many patients” have given up being transferred to the Isabel Zendal Hospital -because, in his opinion, “they know that it is poorly equipped” – and others have not been able to reach it. there or to Carlos III because of “lousy ambulance service”, due to the consequences of the storm Filomena.

Saturation in a COVID emergency room in La Paz.
Saturation in a COVID emergency room in La Paz.
ASSIGNED / Guillén del Barrio

In addition, Del Barrio points out that this overcrowding situation could be avoided by enabling the physiotherapy gym as a room for COVID patients, something that was already done during the first and second waves. “They don’t open it on purpose. There is no more room in La Paz because they don’t want to, they are trying to force people to go to Zendal by having them in armchairs instead of beds, “he says.

Regarding the situation of the Intensive Care Units, it details that, with the infections corresponding to Christmas and the following days, “they are filling up”. “The first ICU that has been used for COVID patients has 20 occupied beds. The second should have another 20, but at most 14 can be used due to lack of staff. I think there are currently 7 patients, so there is space for another 7 “, calculate.

From the health center, they explain that the congestion in the room is due to the fact that eight patients are waiting to be transferred to Isabel Zendal and the change of protocol adopted due to inclement weather a delay has caused a delay. As for the Ministry of Health of the Community of Madrid, they refer to the Hospital de La Paz.

Fernando Simón during the press conference on Monday, January 11

“Chaos” at the Gregorio Marañón

At the Gregorio Marañón hospital there was also a day of chaos this Thursday. “Since Christmas we have seen how the cases of COVID were increasing, although in a controlled way,” explains Charo Alonso, delegate of the MATS union and administrative of the emergencies of that Madrid hospital.

“However, today has been a chaotic day. We had 53 patients, both COVID and non-COVID, awaiting bed. There are some who have been waiting in the emergency room for three days. Others have been discharged for days but, since they cannot go home, they are still here, in the hospital, “he says.

“Today has been a chaotic day. We had 53 patients, both COVID and non-COVID, awaiting bed.”

This situation obviously saturates the service and responds to havoc that Filomena has caused in Madrid, as many streets remain impassable. “Ambulances are only taken to patients who can go in a wheelchair or who live on accessible streets and the UME has come …”, he adds.

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