July 6, 2020

Doctors Without Borders installs an emergency hospital at the University of Alcalá in Madrid to stop the coronavirus



Doctors Without Borders has taken the step of intervening in the crisis of the coronavirus in Spain. The NGO has installed an emergency health center in a pavilion at the University of Alcalá to “decongest the emergencies” of the Príncipe de Asturias Hospital in Alcalá de Henares, one of the most collapsed centers in the region for the cases of COVID-19, as confirmed by the organization to eldiario.es. MSF assures that it will start operations in this space on Monday after “receiving the green light” from the Community of Madrid to “coordinate together”, the same sources point out.

The NGO has created in recent days an emergency hospital in a pavilion at the University of Alcalá (Madrid) where it has enabled 100 beds for moderate patients, explain from the organization. The location of the health infrastructure, developed from MSF, is located in the surroundings of the Príncipe de Asturias University Hospital to have the option of referring complicated patients to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) “, an assumption that does not it is fulfilled in the case of the hospital point created in Ifema.

The strategy of this first center enabled by MSF to fight against the spread of the virus in Spain, which aims to replicate itself in other points, seeks to decompress emergencies with two goals: “decrease intrahospital infections and allow care for severe patients to be more effective”.

In addition to the Community of Madrid, the NGO is in talks with other institutions such as the Generalitat de Catalunya or the Barcelona City Council to participate “in their coordination platforms” and make the advice of experts located in Spain available to them, with the aim of offering its historical experience in the fight against epidemics that have arisen in places with far fewer resources than in Spain.

MSF looks with concern at the management of Spain

The organization has taken a step forward due to the “concern” aroused by the current management of the coronavirus outbreak crisis. “Much more can be done,” the president of MSF in the country, David Noguera, assures eldiario.es. The head of the NGO emphasizes that in any humanitarian emergency “it is necessary to make sure that all the resources of the country are focused on solving it”, something that in his opinion is not yet happening in Spain.

“The country is unemployed, so all existing resources and infrastructure should be turned over to stop the outbreak,” reiterates Noguera. “We do not know why it is not happening. We are very concerned about the situation, we believe that the Spanish governance model and the health model are not allowing many measures that could be activated to be activated,” regrets Noguera.

The president of MSF refers to the creation of more hospital extensions, such as the one approved in the vicinity of the Príncipe de Asturias Hospital in Alcalá; the multiplication of the number of beds available, the increase in the number of diagnostic tests and, in the event of laboratory overcrowding, enable all feasible spaces to allow the isolation of “anyone with symptoms”.

The measures recommended by the NGO experts

With the aim of supporting the implementation of those strategies that, based on their experience, work to control health epidemics, Doctors Without Borders has put “at the service of the authorities” the knowledge of fifty experts. “We are already participating in emergency committees, distributing possible strategies, we have people available to support the development of hospital extensions or design the structure of parallel circuits,” describes Noguera.

There are two foci in any battle against an epidemic, describes the president of MSF, “to heal people and prevent people from contagion”, so the NGO asks for more beds, request the help of foreign doctors and increase the isolation spaces of possible positive cases.

Noguera urges the Government and the autonomous communities to act urgently to guarantee more health resources at a time when “the ICU system is collapsed despite the effort to maximize the number of beds in all hospitals” in the Community of Madrid.

“The operating rooms are ICU, the resuscitation sauces are ICU, and this situation is going to have to be maintained for three or two weeks, at a time when health personnel are already being forced to choose who to intubate by criteria of age “, warns the NGO president, who proposes a solution to the congestion of the Intensive Care Units:” Spain has to ask China for help. That the only people who have resolved it come, that they install 500 beds attended by professionals from another country, the same thing we do from here when there is an Ebola in Congo. ”

Another of the measures that the health organization proposes in its contacts with the Spanish authorities is the provision of a greater number of hotels to favor the isolation of positive cases or, if there is no capacity to perform sufficient tests, of all citizens who have symptoms to avoid the spread inside residences where more than one person lives.

Thirdly, MSF recommends the establishment of “parallel circuits” within the health system, that is, the creation of two different care channels that allow dividing care between coronavirus-infected cases and those with other pathologies.

“When dealing with cholera or Ebola emergencies, two health systems must be prepared in parallel. We call it ‘the clean and the dirty’, which allows shielding primary, secondary and tertiary centers only for infected people” and not favor “the contagion inside outpatient clinics or hospitals. “Epidemics are defeated by the population, but you have to help the population with all the available resources and Spain, with the entire country unemployed, has them,” concludes Noguera.

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