There are 21 operating theaters in the clinic, all but five of which are closed. The personnel in the operating rooms are now deployed in the intensive care units. Of around 1000 beds, only 430 are now occupied. “We have been logged off for at least two weeks,” emphasizes Hans-Friedrich Günther. OPs are postponed, new patients are not admitted. One intensive care unit is coronavirus-free, all other intensive care units are occupied with Covid-19 patients.
The situation in the clinic can be described as dramatic. Around 170 employees are currently in quarantine. These remain in quarantine until a negative PCR test confirms that they are no longer infectious. This can take three to four weeks.
Four patients are currently being supplied with the ECMO, a heart-lung machine. With the help of the machine outside the body, the blood is freed from CO2 and enriched with oxygen. Klinikum LU is the only hospital in the region that offers this care. Before the corona pandemic, there were two such machines in the house, which until then had been completely sufficient. In the spring they reached their limits, there were three more, now there are five. Four of them are currently in operation. “We’re trying to get more, but the whole world is asking for it,” says Günther.
So far it has been the case that new patients who were admitted to the hospital were subjected to a PCR test. However, you wait up to five hours for a result. This complicates the processes within the hospital, as Covid 19 patients, suspected cases and non-Covid patients are strictly separated from each other. Since November 12th, all patients have received an antigen test that shows a result within half an hour. This means that asymptomatic courses are regularly “fished out”.
For example, there was a case where a patient had a negative PCR test and was therefore merged with another patient. Two days later he was suddenly positive and he had infected his roommates. Since you can be contagious five days in advance, even if the test is negative, something like this cannot be completely avoided.
Employees would also have been infected with patients. “There are things that cannot be prevented,” says Managing Director Günther. “We have been testing all employees with the antigen test since last week. Why not earlier? These were not available before, ”explains the managing director of the LU hospital.
After the outbreak issue, the almost 3000 employees are now being subjected to a PCR test. Therefore, the infection clinic will only be open at lunchtime to a limited extent this week. low