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The province of Buenos Aires will use pediatric intensive care beds for seriously ill adults with COVID-19

In the province of Buenos Aires, pediatric intensive care beds will be used to care for seriously ill adults due to COVID-19

According to last evening report prepared and issued by the Ministry of Health, 1565 confirmed COVID-19 patients are admitted to Intensive Care Units (ICUs) nationwide. In turn, it is specified in the part that in the AMBA the percentage of total occupancy of adult ICU beds corresponds to 66.7% and at the national level 56.8%.

This is a figure that only in the last week increased considerably. Last Sunday, August 2, 1122 people were admitted to intensive care units, with a total occupancy rate of 65.2% in AMBA and 55.5% in the Nation. On Sunday, July 26, that is, two weeks ago, 993 patients were in ICU, while On Wednesday June 24, the first day these indicators were reported, the confirmed cases of coronavirus in intensive care corresponded to 433 people, with a percentage of total occupancy of adult ICU beds of 52% in AMBA and 45% in the Nation.

On July 9, that is, a month ago, there were 662 critically ill patients in intensive care. Today 1,565 were reported, which gives a total of 903 new cases in intensive care in the last 30 days.

In the last month, 903 new patients were added to intensive therapies
In the last month, 903 new patients were added to intensive therapies

In this context, sources of the Ministry of Health of the province of Buenos Aires confirmed to Infobae than They have been working on the training of personnel in the pediatric intensive care bed sector of provincial hospitals, “So that they are in a position to take care of adult beds and little by little they have already begun to change some of them, which went from being pediatric to serving adults.”

It is one of many of the actions coordinated by the Centralized Management Unit of Beds of the Provincial Directorate of Hospitals of Buenos Aires. Its owner, the doctor and specialist in Management and Direction of Health Institutions and Pediatric Emergentology Gustavo Sastre, in dialogue with Infobae, he specified: “We have 56 pediatric intensive therapies in the province of Buenos Aires in the first and second cordon of the Conurbano, and for a month and a half we have been discussing these strategies to convert these units and thus being able to care for more critical adult patients”.

“In a first measure, these pediatric intensive care centers will attend to young patients with COVID-19, with coordination and joint work between pediatric therapists and adult doctors, which manage specific pathologies in the elderly. We create mixed work teams because the problem is not the handling of the respirator, but the clinical follow-up of the elderly patients, and for this reason the work is articulated between both health professionals”Said Sastre.

A doctor checks the health status of a patient with COVID-19 in the Intensive Care Pavilion (Photo: Cuartoscuro)
A doctor checks the health status of a patient with COVID-19 in the Intensive Care Pavilion (Photo: Cuartoscuro)

As specified by the coordinator of Centralized Bed Management, this happened in various parts of the world, and “pediatric therapists in the province have no problem attending adult patients, and have been training in this regard since the pandemic began “. “In no way are pediatric therapists going to treat adult patients alone“, He clarified, at the same time that he specified:”We will not neglect in any way the care of children with other pathologies that require critical care in ICU “.

We are in an occupancy of critical beds – intensive therapy – of 65% and in total total beds we are 55% in the entire province of Buenos Aires, 682 approximately of intensive therapy and 6,450 occupied beds, of a total of 11,700 ″, he listed. Notably There are already 151,264 cases in the province, the district with the most coronavirus infections in the entire country.

The occupation of pediatric intensive care beds is very low during these months, which helped us make the decision”Explained Sastre.

The province of Buenos Aires has around 11,700 beds in its health system, of which 6,450 are occupied today and 682 correspond to ICU beds

Consulted in relation to other measures taken from the Centralized Management Unit, its coordinator explained: “What we do is make the referrals of patients with favorable evolution to those hospitals that have more availability and this allows there to always be a place for hyper critical patients, who have just arrived and need a ventilator”.

The Ministry of Health of the Province of Buenos Aires stressed that critical cases of children requiring ICU care will not be neglected (Europa Press)
The Ministry of Health of the Province of Buenos Aires stressed that critical cases of children requiring ICU care will not be neglected (Europa Press)

Today we have respirators available, and we will be enabling almost 150 more units over the course of these next two weeks”, Advanced to Infobae Satre,

Regarding the human resources available these days, the official specified: “We put together itinerant adult intensive therapy teams to be able to respond and ‘breathe a breath’ to intensive therapy services that have staff with COVID-19, who cannot go to work”.

And he detailed: “2% of the total health personnel in the province of Buenos Aires is COVID-19 positive, around 920 doctors and nurses, who until the week passed were on leave due to the disease”.

From the Ministry of Health of the Province they added to this medium: “We have an intensive therapy team that has been visiting hospitals, it is a comprehensive bed management team that observes the needs of each hospital”.

Making ICU beds available in pediatric hospitals is not the main measure, but other types of measures are being taken to optimize the capacity of intensive care beds: hospitals are looking to continue adding not only beds, but also places that have a system, capacity and infrastructure so that oxygen can reach critical patients”, They added.

All hospitals that have such places, called idle, are used to add beds and increase the capacity to respond to serious cases of COVID-19 ”, they specified.

In the province of Buenos Aires, approximately 682 intensive care beds are occupied and 6,450 total berths, out of a total of 11,700 (EFE)
In the province of Buenos Aires, approximately 682 intensive care beds are occupied and 6,450 total berths, out of a total of 11,700 (EFE)

What those in favor of the measure argue is that Despite the fact that winter is the season with the highest demand in ICUs, and especially in those specialized in children, this year there is a drastic decrease in severe cases due to other respiratory infections or seasonal viruses other than the new coronavirus.

That is, thanks to the measures of social, preventive and compulsory isolation, combined with There are no face-to-face classes in schools and educational institutions and that in most cases the boys spend most of the time at home, has favored the non-circulation of typical respiratory diseases in babies and children, characteristics of the months that we go through, and in consequence this means there is more idle space in pediatric intensive care units.

Beds occupied in CABA broken down by severe, moderate and mild COVID-19 cases, as of 9/8 (GCBA)
Beds occupied in CABA broken down by severe, moderate and mild COVID-19 cases, as of 9/8 (GCBA)

For its part, In the province of Santa Cruz, it was thought to implement a similar scheme in which intensive therapy for children is used for adult patients with coronavirus and generated controversy among pediatric therapists locales. It is that in recent days, cases in the Patagonian province have skyrocketed, and According to the last official part, there are 748 confirmed COVID-19 patients, while just a month ago there were 55.

Critics of this provision in Santa Cruz, grouped in health professionals from the Hospital Regional de Río Gallegos, argue that they do not have the necessary equipment that has been asked for five years to attend to pediatric patients and that then could not absorb the serious cases of adults. They also warn that in pediatric intensive therapy they care for children with acute problems, not just respiratory problems, which could be compromised by being in contact with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

From the Ministry of Health of the City of Buenos Aires they specified Infobae:It is an option that was analyzed and is being analyzed in the event of having to increase the capacity of the system, but for now we are not advancing in that line”. “We are in the middle of a pandemic and we must have options on the table in case of dire need to have to expand capacity, although for now we are not considering it.“, They detailed Infobae. In CABA, there are 300 beds occupied by serious cases of COVID-19, out of a total of 450; 716 with moderates out of a total of 1,500 and 2,561 occupied beds out of a total of 5,000 mild coronavirus patients. COVID-19 cases in CABA reached 70,056, according to the last part issued.

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