Fire at Santa Casa leaves health system sequels – Gerais

View of Santa Casa de BH
View of Santa Casa de BH: 26 employees were hospitalized after the fire and 15 were discharged yesterday

The fire at Santa Casa in Belo Horizonte on Monday night took two victims to death, forced the hospitalization of dozens of employees and will still have a significant impact on the health system of the capital and the state. The hospital plays a fundamental role in the care of patients in the Unified Health System and the lack of beds at a time of increasing cases of respiratory diseases is a cause for concern. According to firefighters, the flames started after a device broke down in a bed in the Intensive Care Center (ICU), on the 10th floor of the hospital. All 50 beds in the sector are closed indefinitely. The Civil Police opened an inquiry to investigate the incident and the institution itself announced that it will hire a technical team to investigate the causes of the fire.

broken glass in Santa Casa window
View of Santa Casa and broken windows during the fire: Civil Police opened an investigation to find out what caused the flames and the institution also announced that it will hire expertise in the affected areas

(photo: Photos: Edsio Ferreira/EM/DA Press)

For infectious disease specialist and member of the Popular Committee to Combat COVID-19 of BH Carlos Starling, the loss of so many beds in the capital is a cause for concern in the face of an increase in cases, not only of infection caused by the coronavirus, but of respiratory diseases in general. The doctor, however, says that there is still a reasonable margin between supply and demand for inpatient places in the city.

“Despite the high number of cases, due to the vaccine, we are not having so much need for hospitalization. However, any reduction in vacancies at a time when there is a worrying high demand and we are talking about 50, there are entire hospitals that do not have so many beds. It is important that the city has a contingency plan, because the situation can quickly deteriorate”, he says.

The president of the Municipal Health Council of BH, Carla Anunciatta, shares Starling’s concern. She informs that the council will meet today to discuss the issue and send a demand to the Municipal Health Department with the points highlighted. “We will make a statement and ask for the necessary measures, because this has a great impact on the network. The Santa Casa is a very important piece of equipment”.

By means of a note, the City of Belo Horizonte (PBH) said that it is already working in the search for vacancies in other institutions of the network and monitors the request for beds in the city. The Secretary of State for Health (SES-MG) reported that, next week, it will open new beds for semi-intensive treatment at Hospital Eduardo de Menezes to meet the momentary need.

CRUCIAL IN THE Sector Santa Casa de Belo Horizonte is the health unit with the highest number of beds for SUS in the state, with more than a thousand vacancies. Hospital data indicate that more than 80% of Minas Gerais municipalities have patients attended by its structure annually, which makes it crucial for the entire health system.

Carlos Starling points out that, in addition to respiratory diseases, there is a pent-up demand for other treatments that were in the background during the pandemic. He believes that the loss of beds at Santa Casa could have a ripple effect in other units that serve the public health system. “Santa Casa de BH is a hospital that has enormous strategic importance for the city and the state. time to hold hands and help. The Santas Casas, in general in Brazil, are in a very complicated financial situation and play a very important role in serving the Brazilian population as a whole. They can never be neglected,” he points out.

In an interview with Estado de Minas, the legal director of Santa Casa, Joo Costa, said that the hospital will try to gradually resume its normal rhythm, but there is no forecast for the beds to be restored. “In the CTI on the 10th floor, we have five units, with 10 beds in each one and the fire happened in one of the units. One bed was charred and two others were also damaged by the fire. We are still evaluating the conditions for the others to get back up and running. We first need to understand the reason for the fire in order to reactivate the operation on the floor,” he said.

SUSPENDED SURGERIES Elective surgeries, which were temporarily suspended at Santa Casa, should return more quickly. As 29 of the ICU patients had to be relocated to other areas within the hospital after the fire, the surgical blocks were used to support cases that need a more complete structure. According to Joo Costa, the normalization of these procedures will be shorter.

*Interns under the supervision of sub-editor Rachel Botelho

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