Corona situation in clinics: easy summer, difficult autumn?

Status: 22.04.2022 14:20

The corona situation is easing in hospitals. The number of infected patients is decreasing and fewer and fewer staff are getting sick. There is still no time to take a deep breath – and next fall is sure to come.

Georg von Boyen has had difficult weeks. He is the medical director of the clinics in the district of Sigmaringen in Baden-Württemberg, where the incidence has since risen to over 3,600. He also noticed this in his clinics: new isolation wards had to be opened, extra staff was withdrawn from other areas for this purpose and at the same time more and more employees became ill because they were infected with the Corona.

“For about ten days, however, we have noticed that the number of cases in our departments has been continuously decreasing. And what is crucial: fewer and fewer employees have to stay at home due to a Covid infection,” says von Boyen , relieved . Hospitals in Baden-Württemberg have 13% fewer Corona patients than they did a week ago.

Long list of OPs

A little bit of everyday life in the hospital is slowly returning, he says. Employees would return to their regular teams from the isolation wards. But there is still a lot to do. The list of postponed interventions is long: urological interventions, artificial joints to be inserted, cardiological interventions that can no longer wait. There’s almost no time to take a deep breath, says the doctor.

The situation is improving in many hospitals. The number of people with coronary infections in the wards of Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia (-13 per cent each) and Brandenburg (-14 per cent) has declined particularly. The Saarland even recorded a decline of 15%. “We are very confident that this trend will be sustainable and will continue throughout the summer,” says Gerald Gass, president of the German Hospital Association. “Of course, there can always be significant increases in individual regions.”

The virus as part of everyday life

The virus will remain and become part of everyday life. In the Ernst von Bergmann Klinikum Potsdam there is still a special area for severe cases, where there are currently 14 patients. “But a few weeks ago we started integrating lighter cases in a decentralized way into normal wards. Because we have to be prepared for Corona will continue to exist and become somewhat normal in the hospital,” says managing director Hans-Ulrich Schmidt . The mood in the team is mixed, even as the number of crown cases in Brandenburg hospitals recently dropped ten percent in one week. “There are areas that have had a high level of stress over the past couple of years and have barely been able to breathe, especially in intensive care units. And there is concern that Corona will catch up with us soon.”

Dr. von Boyen in Sigmaringen also has this fear. “I look a lot to the southern hemisphere of the world. Maybe you can see a little ahead of time what could happen here in the winter.” He regrets that vaccination progress in Germany is now stagnant. “I have a sense of déjà vu: even last year there was a certain relief in politics when the relaxation phase began.” Nobody worries anymore about what might happen in the fall. “If politics awakens in October, we will have an increasing number of people in the house again,” he fears.

The fact that Health Minister Karl Lauterbach warns of a “killer variant” in the autumn does not help. “That’s exactly what they say, without drawing any consequences from it.” He hopes the politicians will act in time before it gets cold again. So that he and his colleagues at the clinic don’t have to face another difficult autumn and winter.

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