One year of Covid-19: Experts dared to look back and look ahead in the Med Konkret webinar. Check out the video online now!
How stressful was the year with Covid-19? In the video of the webinar, Primary Peter Cerkl, Head of Pulmonology at the LKH Hohenems and Nursing Director Arno Geier review the past year and comment on the current situation. Numerous participant questions will also be answered. Interested parties can watch the entire lecture HERE.
The stress during the high phase of the corona pandemic was enormous. Arno Geiger, Nursing Director at the Hohenems State Hospital, tells of an employee who quit his job after seeing the obituary notice of a Covid 19 patient whom he had cared for six weeks earlier. Covid does that to people too. “You have to endure it first,” says Arno Geiger.
Hospital staff were completely overwhelmed
The LKH Hohenems was converted into a Covid focus hospital alongside the LKH Bludenz in spring 2020. The first patient came on March 5th. There were many more to come. “In the first wave there was little knowledge about the disease, its treatment and how everything would develop, but we had to accept the challenge despite great uncertainties,” reports Arno Geiger of the initial shortages in protective equipment and test capacities, so that suspected cases often take a long time occupied the intensive care beds. The staff lacked experience in dealing with Covid-19, “it was totally overwhelmed,” admits Geiger frankly. But with a lot of commitment, the hurdles could be overcome.
When the second wave hit the country in the fall, the hospitals were better prepared. Geiger reports: “It was important that all hospitals now take care of the treatment of Covid patients so that at least a limited normal operation could be carried out and the workload for the staff could be relieved.” In the intensive care units, however, the exposure increased because the disease progressed more severely. In addition, employees themselves were absent due to Corona. “Now everyone is tired,” says the nursing director and emphasizes the need to come to terms with what has happened and the intensive care of the staff in order to avoid leaving. That would not come in handy because, according to Geiger, there is an additional 30 to 40 percent personnel requirement for the intensive care units alone.
Primary Peter Cerkl, head of pulmonology at the LKH Hohenems, gives the medical review in the video. He also reports of many uncertainties at the beginning of the pandemic, of a WhatsApp group in which he exchanged ideas with experts from Italy, Germany and the USA about treatment options for Covid patients. Medication? Artificial ventilation invasive or non-invasive? The task was to find the right answers to many questions. Everything is clearer now. “As long as possible, non-invasive high-dose oxygen therapy is preferred to mechanical ventilation,” explains Cerkl. However, it is difficult to say how the situation will develop overall. For the pulmonologist, however, it is clear that vaccination is not enough in the fight against the pandemic. “We need a combination of drugs and vaccinations.”
If you want to look up the entire lecture and the participants’ questions, you can find it HERE.