Rhein-Sieg-Kreis/Bonn There are still enough intensive care beds in the hospitals in the region despite increasing corona infections. Yet, if staff become infected and whole teams have to be quarantined, supply shortages can quickly become a problem. How well are the hospitals prepared for winter?
The images from overcrowded hospitals in Belgium and France over the weekend are disturbing. The Rhein-Sieg district has been a corona risk area since last Wednesday, and the city of Bonn had already exceeded the relevant incidence value of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants on 16 October. Many beds are still available in the intensive care units of hospitals in the region. Whether the situation will worsen will probably become apparent in the next two weeks.
Ingo Morell, responsible for the hospitals division of the Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft der Franziskanerinnen zu Olpe mbH (GFO) and spokesman for the management, is one of those who always keeps an eye on the corona figures. "As far as the beds are concerned, everything is still manageable at the moment. Things will become more difficult if patients or individual employees test positive for the corona virus. Then you have to send whole teams into quarantine," says Morell.
Intensive care beds and respirators alone are not enough, specially trained staff are needed above all. "Bottlenecks can arise. Intensive care nurse is a demanding additional training course, you don't just do it on the side," says the managing director. The GFO operates three clinics at six locations in the region: the GFO clinics in Bonn include the St. Marien Hospital, the St. Josef Hospital in Beuel and the Cura Hospital in Bad Honnef, the GFO clinics in Troisdorf consist of the two operating facilities St. Johannes and St. Josef, and the Marienhospital in Brühl also belongs to the Franciscan Sisters of Olpe.
Twelve Covid-19 patients are currently in the GFO clinics in the region, half of whom are ventilated. That's not many yet, but: "You can see that a dynamic is developing that needs to be taken seriously," explains Morell. Five or six weeks ago, the clinics only had single isolation rooms with patients who tested positive for sars-CoV-2. "The isolation areas are now getting bigger again, they are whole or half wards," he reports.
In his opinion, the cooperation between the clinics in the region is working well; patients with particularly severe disease courses are treated in the university hospitals in Bonn and Cologne. "We have learned a lot from the first wave, occupancy and treatment in intensive care units is now being made much more differentiated. The doctors coordinate where and what is best done," says Morell.
The situation in the Bonn hospitals is also still quite quiet. "We have one patient with Covid-19 in the Waldkrankenhaus and one in the intensive care unit at Johanniter Hospital. Due to ongoing operations, we cannot make any precise statements about free beds in the intensive care units. However, there are enough beds and personnel available for possible Covid patients," Michael Forst informs us for the Johanniter hospitals in Bonn. In addition, the old intensive care unit at the Johanniter hospital will be kept in reserve.
Helios Hospital has five intensive care beds
According to its spokeswoman Bianca Breuer, the Helios Clinic in Siegburg is also prepared. "Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have always been prepared to react promptly to dynamic developments and new regulations," says Breuer. The clinic currently has five intensive care beds for corona patients. "However, we are also able to increase the number at short notice." The new safety and treatment concepts created by the virus have become part of the clinic's routine. "But we also rely on the help of patients and visitors," says Breuer.
At the end of August, the clinic had already pulled the emergency brake and imposed a ban on visitors for three weeks. Since Wednesday last week, this has applied again in view of the rising infection figures in the Rhein-Sieg district. According to Breuer, there are exceptions for visits to seriously ill and palliative patients. "In such cases, the attending doctor will issue a special permit.“
The visits are also a topic in the GFO clinics. On this Tuesday, a decision will be made here on a restricted visit regulation. That people are not allowed to visit the dying father or mother, as in spring, Morell cannot imagine again. But: "We must also protect our employees and our patients. There have already been considerable disputes with visitors who do not want to follow the rules, "so we have already considered putting a security service outside the door".
THE CURRENT FIGURES IN THE RHINE-VICTORY DISTRICT
More current corona cases than ever before
On Monday, the Rhein-Sieg district recorded 719 current corona cases. This is the highest reported number of infected persons so far, during the first wave in spring there were no more than 600. 3496 laboratory-confirmed infections with Sars-CoV-2 have been reported throughout the district so far. 2719 of these persons have recovered, 2383 persons are currently in domestic quarantine.
According to the NRW Health Centre, the official value of the seven-day incidence was 71.1 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants at midnight on Monday. As reported, there is a time lag between the reports at county and state level. In purely arithmetical terms, the figures reported by the district on Monday compared to the previous week (2837 infections) result in an incidence value of around 100.
The number of current corona cases by municipality: Alfter (confirmed infections in total 141/current cases 22), Bad Honnef (163/12), Bornheim (323/74), Eitorf (89/14), Hennef (249/57), Königswinter (262/50), Lohmar (153/28), Meckenheim (132/20), Much (40/9) Neunkirchen-Seelscheid (68/26), Niederkassel (204/49), Rheinbach (112/13), Ruppichteroth (52/20), Sankt Augustin (522/100), Siegburg (270/47), Swisttal (91/13), Troisdorf (472/141), Wachtberg (80/10) and Windeck (67/14).
Original text: Bettina Köhl
Translation: Mareike Graepel