Corona numbers are rising – how hospitals are preparing for the new wave


The next wave of the coronavirus pandemic is underway, and for the first time in the summer. After the number of infections, those of patients admitted to hospital with Covid-19 are now also increasing. Gecko’s advisory board considers a hospital population of 2,500 to 4,000 patients possible at the peak of the wave. That would most likely hit hospitals in the middle of the holidays and the holiday season. Below is an overview of how hospitals are preparing for the wave.

He looks worried Viennese Health Association on the number of infections and is already registering more and more plaques – especially, as so far characteristic of the omicron phase, in the area of ​​​​the normal departments. On July 1 (as of 11am), 14 people with Covid-19 and another 14 with post-Covid were treated in intensive care units, in the normal wards there were 142 and another 15 being treated for Covid-19 , but no longer positive.

The current wave of infections with illnesses is also noticeable among the staff, the health association reports. In order to prevent and reduce infections in the clinic environment, internal security measures are constantly being adapted, for example through consistent wearing of the FFP2 mask on the clinic site, fine-grained PCR testing or changes to the rules for visitors. “We continue to plan our Covid capabilities based on our proven eight-step Covid care plan, which will help us provide the resources we need,” it said. Holiday bans or anything like that are not planned, but as with the entire previous pandemic, the situation and the infection process must be constantly reassessed.

“Holiday bans or the like” will also be in Hospitals in Lower Austria do not exist in the summer, according to the State Health Agency (LGA). “It is important that our staff can recover,” said LHStv. Stephan Pernkopf (ÖVP). Recently, a moderate increase in patients with Covid (total number on Friday: 201) has already been registered. The LGA pointed out that the majority of these people in the clinics were with and not because of Corona, ie they would be hospitalized anyway because of accidents or other illnesses. Work disability for employees is said to be limited at the moment.

Die Upper Austrian Health Holding (OÖG) currently feels prepared to care for corona patients and is preparing for the forecasting scenarios. However, “the issue of illness among the workforce” is the uncertainty factor. If necessary, “performance adjustments cannot be ruled out”. It is important to enable employees to take their planned vacation, said a spokeswoman for the OÖG.

I’m Burgenland there is an overarching, coordinated roadmap between the hospital of the Brothers of Mercy in Eisenstadt and KRAGES (Burgenländische Krankenanstalten GmbH), which has also been agreed with the state, it said. There is no holiday ban, neither in the hospital in the capital nor in the five KRAGES houses, the employees must also be able to consume their vacation time, the spokesman said. Stations are also not currently blocked, although they are much better prepared for the situation than at the start of the pandemic, and have gained a lot of experience in the meantime. According to the coordinating staff, there are currently 35 corona patients in hospital treatment in Burgenland, three of whom require intensive medical care.

Carinthia Health official Beate Prettner (SPÖ) referred to the currently “quite relaxed” situation in the hospitals. On Monday there were 42 patients in a normal ward – 11 fewer than on Sunday – and no intensive care patients. “We know that could change quickly, so we’ve scheduled another coordination meeting for next week. Prettner called on health workers to rest, work overtime and take vacations.

On the side of Styrian Hospitals (Kages) it was said on Friday that there are currently no holiday bans planned for staff. There are no special preparations, you react “adapted to the situation”. Currently, 530 beds are closed, of which about 300 are due to a lack of nurses and 40 due to a shortage of doctors. The rest is not available due to isolation due to Covid.

In the State Clinics Salzburg (SALK) The situation is deteriorating again: the number of corona patients has risen sharply (since mid-June from 14 to currently 38), as has the number of hospital employees who are unable to work due to Covid (from 42 to 110). At the University Hospital of Salzburg, 100 to 150 beds have been closed for a long time due to the pandemic, but also due to staff shortages, currently there are about 130. However, it is also common in normal summers that the hospitals are not running at full capacity, SALK said Chairman Wolfgang Fürweger.

There are currently no holiday bans in Salzburg, “because sometimes our staff needs time to relax and work through old holidays or overtime.” And he illustrated this with numbers: In nursing alone, the Delta and Omicron waves at the Salzburg University Hospital (State Hospital and Christian-Doppler-Klinik) alone have accumulated 600,000 plus hours of unused vacation days and overtime. If more staff are absent, SALK will gradually phase out the service. A well-defined plan has been drawn up for this. In addition, the clinics will gradually switch to decentralized Covid care from mid-July, so that corona patients stay where they are for as long as possible, either at home, in a retirement home or in the original ward or location in hospital.

In Tyrol are currently relatively relaxed and confident. The state’s hospitals could have gained a lot of experience after two years of pandemic and based on this experience, would bring “the greatest possible flexibility with regard to bed and staffing capacities,” the state said. This will also be essential in the coming weeks. They work with future-oriented (capacity) plans that are continuously adjusted. The findings of the state clinics in Tyrol were the same. At the moment there is no worrying situation, although the corona curve in the normal wards is rising slightly, says clinic spokesman Johannes Schwamberger. However, one is a long way from the effects of previous waves, both in terms of normal and intensive care units. There are currently two corona intensive care patients in the Innsbruck clinic – in November 2021 there were 42 for comparison and as a highlight at the time. Holiday bans and the like are not planned, according to Schwamberger.

In Vorarlberg the increased incidence of infection is carefully observed. “All scenarios have been professionally prepared,” the hospital operating company (KHBG) said on Friday. There is ongoing coordination with experts and health authorities and the planning is based on previous waves of infection and the concepts are constantly revised. The summer wave is currently not showing any effects on hospital operations. “Developments are difficult to predict,” the KHBG notes. You may have to react in the short term, for example by deploying employees across departments to absorb bottlenecks. An acute systematic reduction in performance is currently not foreseeable. According to the current situation report, 20 corona patients are currently being treated as hospitalization in the hospitals of Vorarlberg, two of which are in intensive care. Of the approximately 6,000 employees, 46 are currently unfit for work due to corona.

Source: Krone


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