The Faculty of Medicine of La Plata warned that “the health system is on the verge of collapse”

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Professors of the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the National University of La Plata issued a statement in which they expressed their “concern about the current situation” and They warned that health personnel “are losing the battle against the pandemic” of coronavirus, for which they asked society “not to go out more than is necessary.”

“There seem to be two realities. One is that of the hospitals with the brutal and unequal fight against disease and death. Another, that of the streets and squares, with more and more people who want to enjoy themselves, who demand their rights. People who feel good for now, who do not keep their distance and do not protect themselves. They seem to ignore the risk that exists for themselves and their families. The disease stalks. Tomorrow, they could be our patients “, is read in the letter published on the social networks of the educational establishment.

The letter is signed by the professor in Microbiology and Parasitology Judith Bernstein and the professor in Applied Pharmacology and chair of Intensive Therapy Arnaldo Dubin. In it, a dramatic diagnosis of the current situation is made.

“We feel that doctors, nurses, kinesiologists and all members of the health team are losing the battle against the pandemic. The collapse of the health system is near. Resources to treat coronavirus patients are running low. Most of the hospitals, and especially the Intensive Care Units in the country, have a very high level of occupation. There is enormous anxiety about the number of beds free of Intensive Care. Physical and technological resources, such as beds with respirators and monitors, are increasingly scarce, “they said.

However, they assured that their “greatest anguish” is the human resource, “which, unlike beds and respirators, cannot be multiplied.” Thus, in the text they maintained that intensivists “are at the limit of their strength, thinned by disease, physically and emotionally exhausted for the continuous and intense work ”. Under these conditions, they explained, they are prone to “making mistakes, which lead to illness and death.”

After reiterating that the health system is on the verge of collapse, the professors of the academic unit stressed: “We must insist on explaining to the population that isolation has saved tens of thousands of lives in our country and in the world. Health workers cannot defeat the pandemic alone. We need the help of the whole of society ”.

In that sense, they asked society “to reflect and comply with simple but important measures ”, such as social distancing, wearing a mask or frequent hand washing. They also asked to avoid holding meetings. “We should not go out more than is essential,” they concluded.

In the morning part of the Ministry of Health of the Nation, today it was indicated that the total number of confirmed cases in Argentina is 417.735 (49.1% women and 50.9% men). Since the last report issued, there were 70 new deaths. So far, the number of deceased people amounts to 8.730, while the total number of discharges is 308.376 persons.

On the other hand, it was reported that 2,273 people experience the disease in intensive care units throughout the country, 69% of them in establishments in the city and the province of Buenos Aires, 8.6% in Córdoba and 3.2% in Mendoza. The occupation of intensive care beds, regardless of the illness that explains the hospitalization of the patient, at the national level averages the 60,6%, while in the AMBA it reaches the 68,8%.

The complete statement of the Faculty of Medicine of La Plata

In the dramatic context of one of the most serious health crises in Argentine history, professors from the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the National University of La Plata want to express their extreme concern about the current situation. We feel that doctors, nurses, kinesiologists and all members of the health team are losing the battle against the pandemic. The collapse of the health system is near. Resources to treat coronavirus patients are running low. Most of the hospitals, and especially the Intensive Care Units in the country, have a very high level of occupation. There is enormous anxiety about the number of beds free of Intensive Care. Physical and technological resources, such as beds with respirators and monitors, are increasingly scarce.

Our greatest anguish, however, is the human resource; the situation in which health personnel find themselves, who, unlike beds and respirators, cannot multiply. Intensivists, in particular, who were already few before the pandemic, today are at the limit of their strength, thinned by the disease, physically and emotionally exhausted by the continuous and intense work, attending more and more patients. With physical and mental exhaustion, mistakes are more likely to be made, leading to illness and death, as has also happened with many other healthcare workers. These issues are progressively deteriorating the quality of care that they usually provide. In addition, health personnel need more than one job to live and the salaries are very far from the remuneration that due to the enormous dedication and responsibility of their task, they deserve. Despite all these problems, they continue with an inalienable commitment.

Now we feel that health workers are being left alone, they are being left alone. There seem to be two realities. One is that of the hospitals with the brutal and unequal fight against disease and death. Another, that of the streets and squares, with more and more people who want to enjoy themselves, who demand their rights. People who feel good for now, who do not keep their distance and do not protect themselves. They seem to ignore the risk that exists for themselves and their families. The disease stalks. Tomorrow, they could be our patients.

We call on society to reflect and comply with simple but important measures, scientifically endorsed: social distancing (staying more than 1.5 meters), use of face masks (covering nose and mouth), frequent hand washing (with water and soap or alcohol gel), do not crowd, do not hold meetings. We should not go out more than is essential.

The health personnel and the health system are on the brink of collapse. And if this happens, the scenario that we have seen in other countries can be repeated. We must insist on explaining to the population that isolation has saved tens of thousands of lives in our country and in the world. Health workers cannot defeat the pandemic alone. We need the help of the whole of society as a whole.

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