No vacancies. In the intensive care unit at La Chaux-de-Fonds hospital in western Switzerland, the ten beds, isolated from each other, are occupied by patients with coronavirus, and doctors have no doubts: the second wave is much more violent than the first.
“This morning, I was asked to enter another patient, so I had to transfer the more stable patient to another hospital in order to open a new vacancy,” explains doctor Hervé Zender, head of the establishment’s intensive care unit.
“This is something we are doing almost every day today, as the unit is always full,” he adds.
Photo shows health workers’ protective masks hanging on ICU doors for patients with Covid-19 in a hospital in La Chaux-de-Fonds, western Switzerland, on Thursday (5). – Photo: Fabrice Coffrini / AFP
Covid-19 has been hitting Switzerland again for several weeks – and particularly its French-speaking cantons, where hospital capacity is dangerously close to saturation.
“We have a lot more patients,” says Zender.
Photo shows health professionals in the emergency room for patients with Covid-19 at a hospital in La Chaux-de-Fonds, in western Switzerland, on Thursday (5). – Photo: Fabrice Coffrini / AFP
In the emergency room, the head of nursing, Brigitte Hostettler, explains:
“Let’s say that the first wave was bearable, we managed to control everything and there was no massive influx. But this new one is being very difficult to manage. There are many patients in the hospital, it is complicated and there are also many more people testing positive [para o coronavírus] on the team. “
Health professional monitors patient admitted to the ICU of Covid-19 in a hospital in La Chaux-de-Fonds, in western Switzerland, on Thursday (5). – Photo: Fabrice Coffrini / AFP
As for patients, “there are a little of all ages, many elderly people, between 70 and 80 years old or more, but there are also young people, 35 or 45 years old”, adds Hostettler.
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The canton of Neuchâtel, where the La Chaux-de-Fonds hospital is located, has an incidence of 314 positive cases per 10,000 inhabitants, “almost double” in the whole of Switzerland (174 per 10,000 inhabitants), said the network’s director. local hospital in a statement.
Pandemic in Switzerland: canton of Neuchâtel, where the La Chaux-de-Fonds hospital is located, has an incidence of Covid-19 that is almost double that of the whole country – – Photo: G1
In an attempt to face this situation, the network established an additional capacity of beds and staff to serve up to 250 patients with Covid-19.
This Wednesday (4), 120 positive patients and 19 suspected contagion, awaiting results, were hospitalized, according to data from the network.
La Chaux-de-Fonds hospital suspended all its surgical activity. The most urgent operations can be performed only at the other hospital in the canton.
Photo shows healthcare professional wearing protective clothing against Covid-19 at a hospital in La Chaux-de-Fonds, western Switzerland, on Thursday (5). The hospital has suspended all surgical activity, and urgent operations can only be performed at the other hospital in the canton of Neuchâtel. – Photo: Fabrice Coffrini / AFP
At the same time that they understand the “annoyance” of the population with sanitary measures, employees consider that they are not aware of how much the situation is getting worse very quickly in hospitals.
Some also consider that the federal council is very timid in the face of the second wave – and welcome the decisions to close restaurants, shops and partial confinement adopted at the cantonal level. Everyone expects the measures to stop the flow of patients.
“Everyone is tired, mentally and physically exhausted,” says Jérémy Bouhelier, head of nursing at the intensive care unit.
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