From the Pernambuco Diary
Public calamity. It was with these words that a pediatrician summarized the current scenario of emergency pediatric care in the public network of Pernambuco. According to the professional, who asked Diario de Pernambuco not to have her identity revealed, the state has been going through a turbulent clinical period, as a result of an unresolved epidemic of viral outbreaks, typical of the time. In addition, there is a lack of material, overcrowding and an improvised Intensive Care Unit (ICU), things that are part of the daily routine of pediatric care in the state. There were records of infant deaths.
The Emergency Care Units (UPAs) in Olinda and Torrões, the Barão de Lucena Hospital, in Iputinga, the Igarassu Hospital Unit, the Professor Fernando Figueira Institute of Integral Medicine (Imip), in Coelhos, and the Camaragibe Medical Center were some of the places mentioned by the doctor. “We have an epidemic of respiratory disease in children. And it is an expected epidemic. Every year, in the month of April, several children start to get tired, and this clinical worsening is already expected”, she assured. The difficulty, however, according to her, is that the current service available is not meeting the demand, which causes other problems. “This picture of the epidemic is spreading. We are in the middle of May, and the services are not able to serve the children. Shifts with queues for ICU passwords, with about 50 children in the queue”, said the doctor.
One of the most serious points, for the doctor who makes the complaint, is the lack of pediatric beds. Therefore, the children remain in the units and receive improvised care from an ICU, but without the rigor of the protocols. “The shifts are being closed, because we cannot transport these children to the ICU. They are in a less complex sector. We can’t handle it, we don’t have structure. These children occupy all the possible beds of the service, and do not leave there ”, she said.
Another consequence is that children who arrive for urgent care often return home without it. “The situation is chaotic. There is no support, and they are dying. And others are suffering from this damage, because they are not receiving care for mild conditions, because either we close the shift and take care of children with severe conditions, or open the shift and spend the day taking care of children who have milder conditions”, he explained.
Deaths of children without the necessary support were also mentioned by the professional, who highlighted three newborns among the deaths. “It’s already the third shift I’m on, and there are children who have been waiting for an ICU vacancy for four days. Two-, seven-month-olds,” she lamented. One of the deaths witnessed by the media was a two-month-old baby, who had been waiting for an ICU vacancy for three days.
The doctor also claims that there is a lack of important materials, such as, for example, NIV (non-invasive ventilation), used to reduce the chances of the child needing an ICU. “There are UPAs that have been with a child for more than a day without intubation”, she commented.
After receiving the complaint, the report sought the government through the State Department of Health (SES-PE), which positioned itself through an official statement.
In it, he stressed that the private health network is also experiencing a similar scenario and that despite overcrowding, infections by Covid-19 are low. And trying to solve the issue, he cited the forecast that 50 new pediatric ICU beds will be opened soon in the state network.
Check out the full note below:
“The State Health Department (SES-PE) emphasizes that Pernambuco is currently experiencing its period of seasonality for respiratory diseases, when, historically, there is a greater occurrence of these diseases. It is also worth noting that the increase in the flow of care occurs throughout the health network, both public and private.
In addition, among patients hospitalized in beds facing cases of Srag in the public network, less than 2% are infected with Covid-19, thus predominating cases caused by other infectious agents, such as Rhinovirus, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, metapneumovirus, among others. others.
SES-PE has been working permanently to expand the health network for babies and children with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Srag). Since last year, more than 30 ICU beds for this public have been opened in Pernambuco and the number of vacancies has increased by almost 60%, from 57 to more than a hundred currently.
As a result, Pernambuco’s public health network currently has 233 beds for babies and children with Srag, 106 of which are in the ICU and 127 in the infirmary. The overall occupancy of these beds is 72%, with 63% in ward vacancies and 87% in Intensive Care. There is also a forecast of opening more than 50 new pediatric ICU beds in the coming days in the state network.”