Overflowing. The end of alarm state and, with him, of the mobility restrictions between autonomies has begun to have its reflection in the hospitals of the main tourist areas of the province, where the number of attentions urgent has skyrocketed in just a few days by the arrival of the first tourists and owners of second homes. The Marina Baixa Regional Hospital, which absorbs the population of this region and has Benidorm as a reference city, is the clearest example: “It seemed that saturation had dropped after controlling the incidence of the coronavirus, but now we are back at the top of the emergency room », they explain from the center, where they claim to be already touching the same level of urgent care as in the stage prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, in March 2020.
“If with this level of patients many cases of covid-19 begin to arrive, it will be difficult to reach everything”
In other words. The emergency door of this hospital has passed in just a few weeks to be treating an average from 130 patients a day to no day below 180 or 190. This is confirmed by the head of this unit, the doctor Antonio Garcia Buigues, who points out that this same week —the perimeter confinement declined in the early hours of Saturday to Sunday— even more than 200 cases a day have been exceeded, with a peak of up to 212 assistances registered on Monday.
What explains this remarkable increase? García Buigues maintains that, «logically, the greater the mobility and the greater the population in the area, the more emergencies. This is something that in health departments with as much dependence on tourism as in ours we know well and that these days, without a doubt, it is already being noticed a lot in the Hospital ». There is another factor that is also causing this increase in cases: «In the strong waves of infections the number of Emergencies plummeted – practically, to no more than 50 cases a day – and now we are going back to prendemic figures, because in addition to the people who have arrived from other areas, many serious pathologies are entering but also many people who come with banalities and who, at times with the COVID-19 triggered, had stopped coming to the Hospital “, adds the department manager , Rosa Louis Cereceda.
2 TIMES Over 200 consultations a day in 2020 Since the start of the pandemic, the hospital only exceeded 200 emergencies a day on 2 occasions, both in August. So far this month this figure has already been equaled.
The doctors point out that the increase in the pressure of care in the Emergency does not respond at the moment to an increase in coronavirus incidence. “For now we are seeing very few suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19: about 15 or 20 possible, at most, at the time of triage; then you discard half and, in the end, they end up in one or none, “he explains Antonio García. Traffic accidents, falls on public roads or sports accidents, which during the months of confinement or greater restrictions fell to practically zero because people did not leave the house, are now the main causes of the visit to the emergency room in this hospital, in addition to other classic serious ailments in these services such as strokes, heart attacks, etc.
212 PATIENTS Maximum peak: this Monday the Hospital de la Marina Baixa has seen the demand for care in the Emergency Department grow enormously. The maximum peak was registered this Monday, when the health workers came to see 212 patients in one day.
However, both the head of the unit and the department manager recognize that there are concern among professionals due to a possible increase in new positives after the massive arrival of people from other autonomies scheduled for this weekend. «We are concerned about what will happen in two weeks, when the effect of reducing restrictions on the transmission of the virus begins to be felt, “says Rosa Louis Cereceda. García Buigues goes even further: «If, with this level of emergency services, many cases of covid-19 also begin to arrive, which require much greater attention and many more resources, it will be very difficult to get to everything».
Patients: A year of ups and downs like a yo-yo
The emergency units of public hospitals have lived the fourteen months that we have been pandemic with continuous ups and downs of patients, as if they were a yo-yo. The La Vila hospital, for example, it went from the almost 200 cases of daily average in January 2020 to no more than 50 emergencies a day during hard confinement due to the fear of many people of going to this service and being able to be infected, which many times the ailments were irreversible. Now the figures are beginning to normalize.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.