Tiredness, stress and tension in Madrid hospitals

Tiredness, stress and tension in Madrid hospitals

Sanitary and citizens in the vicinity of the Hospital of La Paz.

The cabin of the ambulances that carry coronavirus sufferers It must be separated from the rest of the vehicle, so that the driver is not infected, and be disinfected as soon as they finish their journey. The samples must be transferred at a temperature of -4º, in triple-container boats, and by specialized carriers. The masks, gowns and glasses of the medical staff are also specified to the millimeter in the protocols sent to the hospitals of the Community of Madrid. But between the planning designed in detail in an office and the reality that is lived in the medical centers while fighting an invisible enemy mediates a terrifying chasm, according to the unions.

Nerves began to surface on Wednesday afternoon at the Gregorio Maranon hospital. The unusual tranquility of the Emergencies that had been experienced hours before began to complicate with the passage of time and the accumulation of patients in the waiting room. The triage – the initial assessment given to the patients – began to take longer than normal, and some did not go through that evaluation until an hour and a half after they arrived at the hospital. The workers, critical of the tightness of the workforce – 7,000 in total – began to accumulate fatigue, stress … and, they say, misinformation.

Although all staff – doctors, nurses, caretakers or cleaners – tIn the Intranet detailed instructions that mark the protocol, a key data for them was missing: access to a computer in the workplace to see that internal network.

“Not all staff have received training and information from Public Health that can reduce the sensation of alarm,” said Borja Gonzalez, union delegate of CC OO.

On Tuesday night a patient with all the symptoms of coronavirus arrived and a nurse treated him in the first instance, according to Fernando Hontangas, head of Health of CSIF. Specifically, he took a blood culture and urine sample. Despite asking for it, he couldn’t use a mask. When the patient ended up in the ICU – where the staff, then yes, received him with all the protective material – he tested positive. Now, the two nurses who treated him, along with an assistant and an administrative officer, are in a 14-day quarantine.

“We are generally applauding the performance of the counseling, but we are also asking that staff be protected. If a worker is asking you for material, don’t deny it, ”said Hontangas, spokesman for the civil servants’ union yesterday.

In addition, this union has requested the urgent installation of screens in the emergency admission services of the centers that do not have them yet, as well as in those units that receive first-contact patients. “In La Paz they have done it relatively quickly, but the virus advances more than the diffusion”, continued Hontangas.

Cleaning and maintenance

The cleaning and maintenance workers also complained that their superiors did not inform them of what personal protective equipment they should use if they entered an isolation room. The masks, in any case, were locked up, and did not have access to them for hours, they say. It has become the most sought after material. And the initial calm has already begun to break.

“More people are susceptible to infection, with possible symptoms, and everything is slowing down,” said Gonzalez, of CC OO. “Middle managers began after complaints to offer more material to cleaning workers,” he conceded.

The full union delegates of the La Paz hospital and Carlos III expressed that misinformation yesterday in a letter addressed to the centers’ management so that they were informed of all the measures that were going to be taken in relation to the virus. The chicha calm with which the crisis apparently began to be managed is giving way to a tense wait. First the politicians began, with the clash between Isabel Diaz Ayuso and Ignacio Aguado over the information given about the evolution of the virus. And now professionals are incorporated, who ask for more means and information in the face of the threat.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here