J. Nuñez, J. A. Porcel, Joan Pijoan
Sep 25, 2020
Introduction The severe disruptions caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus have necessitated a redistribution of resources to meet hospitals’ current service needs during this pandemic. The aim is to share our experiences and outcomes during the first month of the Covid-19 pandemic, based on the strategies recommended and strategies we have implemented. Methods Our experience comes from our work at a referral hospital within the Spanish National Health System. Changes to clinical practice have largely been guided by the current evidence and four main principles: (1) patient and health-care worker protection, (2) uninterrupted necessary care, (3) conservation of health-care resources, (4) uninterrupted formation for residents. Based on these principles, changes in the service organization, elective clinical visits, emergency visits, surgical procedures, and inpatient and outpatient care were made. Results Using the guidance of experts, we were able to help the hospital address the demands of the Covid-19 outbreak. We reduced to a third of our orthopaedics and trauma hospital beds, provided coverage for general emergency services, and five ICUs, all continuing to provide care for our patients, in the form of 102 trauma surgeries, 6413 phone interviews and 520 emergency clinic visits. Also in the third week, we were able to restart morning meetings via telematics, and teaching sessions for our residents. On the other hand, eight of the healthcare personnel on our service (10.8%) became infected with Covid-19. Conclusions As priorities and resources increasingly shift towards the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible to maintain the high standard and quality of care necessary for trauma and orthopaedics patients while the pandemic persists. We must be prepared to organize our healthcare workers in such a way that the needs of both inpatients and outpatients are met. It is still possible to operate on those patients who need it. Unfortunately, some healthcare workers will become infected. It is essential that we protect those most susceptible to severer consequences of Covid-19. Also crucial are optimized protective measures.