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The pressure for coronavirus falls by half in ten days in the hospitals of Aragon

The seventh wave of the coronavirus pandemic in Aragon continues to lose strength. With 257 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the cumulative incidence at seven days is at the levels of three months ago, when the epidemiological curve began to rise. With the number of daily infections below a thousand for two weeks -Public Health reported 543 this Wednesday-, hospital pressure also decreases. There are currently 191 hospitalized covid patients, 40 of them in the ICU, just half of those who were counted just ten days ago (382). In this scenario, health centers are recovering their usual rate of assistance, thus freeing up beds reserved for the virus.

The Clinic and the Miguel Servet continue to be the ones with the most beds occupied by patients with coronavirus, with 40 and 39, respectively. They are followed by the Barbastro Hospital (28), San Jorge (21) and Royo Villanova (18). These are figures that are far removed from those recorded at the peak of the wave. The maximum hospital occupancy was reached on January 16, when the 900 covid patients who required admission were close to. The Hospital Nuestra Señora de Gracia (Provincial) now has 9 patients with this pathology, two of them in intensive careas published yesterday by the Transparency portal of Aragon. This center confirmed the first death from covid in the Community. It was March 6, 2020. As Dr. Juan Jiménez-Muro, then head of the Internal Medicine service at this hospital, recalls, “two years ago nothing was known about this disease.” “Information arrived from other countries that were already beginning to alert us,” he explains. “At the beginning, action criteria and protocols were established that were very changeable depending on how the disease was becoming known. Treatment protocols at first were ineffective and many times they produced serious side effects. You worked under a lot of stress during exhausting days. The professionals gave themselves completely.” With the first wave, just as the rest of the hospitals did, a crisis cabinet was established in the Provincial to adapt resources to needs: “It has been a key piece in the organization.”

Areas for covid patients were delimited, which were expanded as new admissions arrived: “It began with the Internal Medicine floor and when necessary it was expanded to Geriatrics. The ICU was full and it had to be doubled by providing beds for critical patients in surgical areas.”

After that first wave in which confusion and ignorance prevailed, the third came, in November 2020. “It was the worst,” Jiménez-Muro points out. The peak was on the 3rd of that month, with almost 60 beds with covid patients and the ICU is full. In a hospital of our size, this represents an occupation of 75% of the medical area”. The pandemic progressed, facing successive outbreaks, until in October 2021, after the sixth wave, the Provincial was free of covid. A situation, however, that lasted only a few weeks: “The first admission of this latest wave was last November 28. Little by little the patients increased, confirming a clear rise from the first week of December”.

temporary reinstatement

Doctor Jiménez-Muro had requested retirement at the end of that sixth wave: “I said goodbye saying that if a new wave came back and they needed me they could count on me.” Against all odds, the pandemic worsened and he rejoined forty days after retiring from the world of work. “It’s nothing new, other colleagues have also done it,” she says. As he summarizes: “I feel very comfortable and I am proud to share the work in this wave with all my colleagues from the hospital and more specifically from the Internal Medicine plant. When this normalizes, I will return to my retired situation “.

The descent of the wave entails a gradual return to normality: “If we reach zero covid patients, as in October, there will be no beds reserved for coronavirus, but we have experience and we are prepared to activate the contingency plan when necessary“Despite the knowledge provided by a long professional career and two intense years of the pandemic, Dr. Jiménez-Muro does not dare to predict the evolution of the health crisis: “I think that nobody knows for sure if there will be a new wave and what magnitude will it be Hospitals will recover little by little as the number of people admitted for covid drops. For everyone’s sake, I hope this happens soon.”

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