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Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Jan 04, 2024  1 month, 2 weeks, 6 days, 16 hours, 44 minutes ago

COVID-19 News: Emergency Rooms In Hospitals Across Spain Overwhelmed With COVID-19 And Flu Patients!

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COVID-19 News: Emergency Rooms In Hospitals Across Spain Overwhelmed With COVID-19 And Flu Patients!
Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Jan 04, 2024  1 month, 2 weeks, 6 days, 16 hours, 44 minutes ago
COVID-19 News: The healthcare system in Spain is facing an unprecedented dual crisis as emergency rooms across the country grapple with an overwhelming influx of COVID-19 and influenza cases. This crisis is particularly pronounced in regions like Navarra and Catalonia, where hospitals are strained to their limits, prompting the implementation of new strategies to manage the surge in patients. Local COVID-19 News reports indicate that most hospitals in Spain are currently on the verge of a collapse due to an exponential increase of sick individuals needing help.

Navarra's Struggle
In the northern region of Navarra, the convergence of the flu and COVID-19 epidemic with the festive Christmas season has led to a substantial increase in the number of patients seeking emergency care. The Hospital Universitario de Navarra (HUN) in Pamplona, the Hospital Reina Sofía (HRS) in Tudela, and the Hospital García Orcoyen (HGO) in Estella-Lizarra are grappling with a surge in patients, especially in the aftermath of holiday celebrations.
Hospital Emergency Room Overload
Throughout December, the HUN recorded an average of 560 daily visits, encompassing General Emergencies, Gynecology, and Pediatrics. Peak days, such as January 2 and December 26, saw 632 and 631 infections, respectively. Similarly, HRS in Tudela averaged 175 services in December, with peak days on January 2 and December 26. The HGO in Estella faced a similar scenario, with the hospitals collectively witnessing an increased demand for emergency services during the post-holiday period.
Pressure on Health Services
Recognizing the strain on healthcare resources, the Navarrese Health Service-Osasunbidea emphasized the importance of responsible use of hospital emergency services. The aim is to prioritize care for the most critical patients and those with time-sensitive conditions, thereby reducing waiting times for priority cases.
New Triage System to Address Surge
In response to the exponential rise in respiratory virus cases, the Health Service is implementing a new triage system at the University Hospital of Navarra's Emergency Service starting from January 4. This system targets patients aged 18 to 40 with mild respiratory symptoms, without risk factors or alarming data. These patients, presenting low triage priority and arriving without a referral, will be redirected to Out-of-Hospital Emergency Centers to streamline care and reduce waiting times.
Challenges in Catalonia
Simultaneously, Catalonia is facing a healthcare crisis as influenza and COVID-19 overwhelm emergency departments, leading to a state of "collapse" in several hospitals. Terrassa Hospital, as a case in point, is grappling with an unprecedented patient influx, necessitating the opening of closed beds and the creation of additional facilities.
Terrassa Hospital's Struggle
Despite efforts to accommodate the surge, Terrassa Hospital faced a backlog of up to 38 patients awaiting admission on a single morning. Neus Muñoz, an internal medicine physician at the hospital, expressed concerns about patient safety, with the majority being treated in corridors due to space constraints, making isolation challenging.
Shortage of Personnel and Exhausted Healthcare Workers
Terrassa Hospital is also grappling with a shortage of staff, leading to the redirection of patients with milder symptoms to primary care. The situation remains critical, mirroring the challenges faced during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Muñoz highlighted the exhaustion of healthcare workers and the potential for the situation to worsen as other regions, like Madrid, anticipate a surge in influenza cases post-holidays.
Regional Impact and Attempts to Ensure Normalcy
The crisis extends across Catalonia, with Clínic Hospital in Barcelona reporting a "total collapse." Despite efforts to ensure "normal" hospital activities, the surge in respiratory viruses is pushing healthcare services to their limits. Parc Taulí in Sabadell is also under immense pressure, redirecting patients to primary care due to the overwhelming demand.
Antigen Test Sales Surge Amidst Concerns
As the healthcare emergency unfolds, pharmacies across Spain report a surge in antigen test sales between December 18 and 25. However, the figures, although tripling compared to the first week of December, indicate a 20% decline from the same week last year. This surge in testing coincides with growing concerns about the strain on healthcare resources and the need for urgent measures and additional resources.
The current dual crisis in Spain, characterized by the overwhelming surge of COVID-19 and influenza cases, underscores the ongoing impact of respiratory viruses on public health. The healthcare system is strained, necessitating innovative strategies and additional resources to address the heightened demand for medical attention. This situation serves as a stark reminder of the importance of sustained preparedness and response strategies to protect communities during periods of heightened risk.
For the latest COVID-19 News, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.


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