in Bordeaux, an intensive care unit under pressure

In intensive care units, the situation has changed since the start of the health crisis. This is particularly the case at Bordeaux, in the downtown hospital, the CHU Saint-André.

We enter this service, directed by Doctor Olivier Guisset, in a blouse, masked and charlotte on the head. His eight beds are all occupied, including five by patients infected with the coronavirus.

As Dr Fabrice Camou explains, the situation is tense: “This night, I managed to make room for continuous surveillance, but I had three or four candidates. Two remained in other wards, one in the emergency room, and one was not transferred to our hospital.

Last March, intubation under sedation was the rule. Now, caregivers are implementing oxygen therapy: high dose oxygen through nasal cannulas. “The patient who returned that night suffers from a particularly severe form of Covid-19, with pulmonary embolism. With high-onset oxygen therapy, he maintains to be conscious and is not in general anesthesia “, explains Fabrice Camou.

“Without this device, this gentleman would have to be intubated and placed on full life support.” But as it is, the patient can wake up, feed and interact with the healthcare team and their loved ones. “A few days ago it was not going, but now I’m doing well”, he says, “the caregivers are impeccable, he makes everything easier for me”.

A feared lack of staff

The hospital has resumed normal overall activity: operations delayed in the spring are arriving in the blocks, and potentially in the intensive care units, running into the second wave of Covid-19.

“During confinement, the other services were stopped and had massively deprogrammed. This is no longer the case at all,” worries Dr. Camou, “cancer patients receive their chemotherapy, medical patients their treatments … we must welcome them too, which creates a non-Covid activity which is very significant in addition to the activity related to the coronavirus “.

Teams from other services, which had come to the aid in March, have now returned to their services, raising fears of a lack of personnel in the event of an even greater flow of infected people.

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