The increase in contagion at the national level and the upsurbing of the coronavirus in the Metropolitan Region is not only closely followed by the authorities, but also by health personnel waiting at all costs for the escalation of contagions to slow down as it could lead to new pressure on an already tired care network.
«We don’t yet have a large number of hospitalized covid patients, the last figure we have speaks of 30% of patients. The problem is that the occupancy of critical beds at the country level is very high, at 85%, mostly by regular critical patients, and if on that begins to increase the number of covid patients will be complex,» says Cecilia Luengo, vice president of the Chilean Society of Intensive Medicine (Sochimi).
The head of the critical patients unit of the clinical hospital of the University of Chile recounts that the current situation of the hospital network is worse than when they prepared for the first wave, as today they have twice as many beds at the time but «with an even greater occupancy».
«In the first wave critical beds had to be converted and increased, the problem is that now those critical beds are already increased, they are already practically full and if a second wave is coming it is very difficult to enlarge a good number of critical beds,» she says.
At this rate, how much longer can the network endure before reaching the levels seen in June?
That will depend on how the population is following the measures that are being taken now. If case numbers are maintained or decreased we move away from that date, but if this continues to increase the second wave is ad portas, probably between the end of the month and the beginning of January. If we do not have a significant decrease in cases by 21 December, the number of critical beds needed to work with all patients, both covid and non-covid, will begin to increase.
I mean, Phase 2 was decreed on time in MRI?
It would have been very risky to expect more than what was done to decree it. What we need to see is whether the population is really going to respect the measures, considering that we are in a time when they usually travel, go to trade, which is precisely what is not recommended to do now.
It is also one of the dates with the most traffic accidents. Does that complicate the availability of beds?
Mobility on these dates means more patients in critical beds and if the injuries from accidents that could be suffered we add an increase in the need for critical beds by covid clear that the numbers (availability of beds) are narrowing, but I do not mean that we will not have beds. That’s why it’s important for people to try to minimize mobility.
Better to celebrate the holidays at home…
It’s just that this New Year’s Eve is not common. This year for many is very painful, there are families who lost both parents, who lost children, that the number of members dropped drastically because of the coronavirus, so there is not much to celebrate. The best gift at this minute is to be alive and take care of the other, stay that way so as not to have a second wave and not keep pressing a system that is very tired.