After more than a month on the front line serving coronavirus patientsAndrea Vicente, 26, nurse at the Sant Camil Hospital in Sant Pere de Ribes (Barcelona)She has had to take a step back: she has contracted the virus, according to her, due to a lack of protection material.
Andrea Vicente Thus, it has become one of the 31,788 health professionals (15.57% of all positive cases) -data as of April 21- who have been infected since the start of the pandemic, 6,000 of them in Catalonia.
And she is not the only one in her hospital. “As far as I know, from my environment we are six nurses who have taken the coronavirus, but possibly we are more“he confesses in an interview.
Andrea, who graduated in 2017 and has been working for “Els Camils” for a year – as the inhabitants of the Garraf region call the hospital- attributes its contagion to the lack of adequate protection material. “At the beginning, we had enough protection material, but as more plants for coronavirus patients were opened, it began to be lacking,” he complains.
“Surgical masks, normally single use, are changed once or twice during the shift. We only change it, for example, if the patient coughs us in the face, but if we can hold on, then we hold on“he explains in a video conference conversation.
And the same goes for robes. At first there were enough single-use robes to throw away after each entry into a room, but quickly sand they ran out of them and started using cloth robes.
“We use the same dressing gown throughout the shift to enter all the rooms and when we finish, it is sent to wash“says the young health worker, now isolated at home.
A few kilometers from the Conca del Ódena, which was during the beginning of the epidemic the main focus of the virus in Catalonia, the Garraf region has also suffered a strong hit from the Covid-19.
In this region halfway between Barcelona and Tarragona, with the capital Vilanova i la Geltrú and Sitges as the most touristic municipality, a total of 57 people have lost their lives since the epidemic began, and about 500 neighbors have tested positive.
“In Sitges -near the Sant Camil Hospital- 40 rooms at the Hotel Melià have been converted to accommodate patients on the semi-acute floor they had no symptoms and have tested negative, “explains Vicente.
The first floor of the hospital The fifth, where Andrea worked and that before the impact of the pandemic was dedicated to internal medicine, was converted to care for coronavirus patients.
“Then there were the fourth, the third, then the second, and even the first one had to be converted, from obstetrics, where the pregnant women and those that have just given birth, “says the nurse.
To avoid possible contagions, deliveries have been referred to other hospitals in the area, such as the Alt Penedès Regional Hospital, in Vilafranca del Penedès (Barcelona).
Cristina Llamusí is one of the women who will not be able to give birth in the hospital in her region. She is also a nurse at the Sant Camil Hospital, but since last February she has been on pregnancy leave.
On May 7 he comes out of accounts, and they already warned him that when he goes into labor, go directly to Vilafranca, where there is Fewer cases of Covid-19 and where they have set up an exclusive area for pregnant women.
“I am afraid that my partner will not be able to enter the delivery room“he also comments remotely.
Usually, a woman is 48 hours in the plant after giving birth -or 72 hours if the delivery was by caesarean section-, however, due to the current situation, the admission period has been reduced to 24 hours, after which they are already sent home.
“If all goes well, I’ll go home as soon as I can“, predicts Cristina, who assures that she prefers to spend the postpartum at home.
In the Sant Camil Hospital, as in many others, when they arrived last week at peak of infections All the floors of the hospital were already occupied by patients with coronavirus and the level of income was so high that they had to start placing two patients who had tested positive in the same room.
“Ideally, there should be only one person per room, but such capacity was reached that they had to come together to continue assuming the new income“remembers Vicente, who acknowledges that a few days before she was infected, the pressure began to drop.
“The ICU and the OU (Observation Emergencies, a section of the hospital that is only enabled when emergencies is collapsed) they were still full, but there was less saturation in the ER. There are not so many earnings at once and they are getting higher and higher, “he says optimistically, despite having become ill, although with mild symptoms.