Lack of healthcare professionals aggravates pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has been spreading at an alarming rate in Romania for the past couple of weeks, with more than 7,000 COVID-19 infected patients now being treated in numerous hospitals all over the country. In an interview on Székelyhon TV, Dr. János Szederjesi, an intensive care specialist, gave his opinion on the current situation.


János Szederjesi
Intensive care doctor János Szederjesi during his interview on Székelyhon TV’s “Nézőpont” (Viewpoint) about the pandemic.

“Each age group is concerned. Our youngest patient with a positive COVID test result is a four-and-a-half-year-old child, who is being treated now in intensive care, but this is still much more common among older patients, above the age of 70. I also have to add that most of the patients arriving have some primary disease already,” answered the Medical Director of the Maros (Mureș) County Emergency Hospital in Marosvásárhely (Târgu Mureș) to the question about the age distribution of the patients being treated in ICU.

According to Dr. János Szederjesi, while at the beginning of the pandemic, more than 1,000 intensive care beds were available for COVID patients in Romania, as the number of infected people started to decrease, the number of beds reserved for them did as well, and now this number is around 600. But because the second wave of the pandemic has arrived, this bed capacity is already almost full, and it will be necessary to increase the number of ICU beds again soon.

To the question about whether they have faced such a situation before, where they had to decide which patient they put on a ventilator and which not — as it happened in Italy last spring — he answered that fortunately not. He also added that as a University Hospital, they are well-equipped and have more breathing machines than ICU beds. “We hope that the situation will not escalate so much that all the ventilators would be occupied at the same time in the country,” he said.

According to the doctor, a potential problem could be caused, not by the lack of breathing machines, but more likely by the low number of trained staff who can operate them.

At the end of the interview János Szederjesi emphasized the importance of prevention:

“We should use masks, wash our hands, and avoid going to places where we can be at risk of contracting the virus”.

– he said. The full interview (in Hungarian) can be watched here.


Title image: Medical Director of the Maros County Emergency Hospital in Marosvásárhely János Szederjesi gave his opinion about the second wave of the pandemic in the latest episode of “Nézőpont.” (Photo: Székelyhon TV’s YouTube channel)


Author: Attila Szoó