A disaster is rolling toward the hospitals

Photo by Piron GuillaumeWho can say for sure whether the chancellor and minister presidents are relying on the principle of luck or "head in the sand," whether they are letting themselves be blinded by smoke candles and empty words with the best of intentions - hygiene concept, model trial or spring effect would be just three examples. In the shadow of the debates about rising infection rates, the German Ethics Council held a symposium on the topic of triage a few days ago; it can be seen as preparation for the approaching catastrophe.

Triage, remember, is a concept of military medicine; it is supposed to help physicians make the extremely difficult decision of which patient to save under great shortage of personnel and material; and which to let die. The very fact that it is necessary to discuss such questions at all does not seem to bother anyone.

For weeks and months, all serious scientists have been warning of mutant B 1.1.7, of great suffering coming over the country - but their voices are fading into the Berlin government fog. "When it's full, it's full," say some intensive care physicians and shrug their shoulders; this seems pragmatic, but it is a sign of resignation and frustration.

It is people with souls and worries who have to care for highly infectious patients in intensive care units day and night under full protection. They are people in this "system" who fear actually having to decide soon which of their patients they will try to save and which they will not. It is people on the front lines of pandemic defense who now have to deal with criminal law, uninvited and actually avoidable - is a triage decision against a patient's life actually manslaughter by omission?

Many doctors, many nurses feel abandoned and wonder how they can withstand the enormous pressure any longer, while the state fails to protect its citizens and, most importantly, its medical staff. Consistently ignoring all warnings leads to hospital staff becoming society's last bruisers. But of course, intensive care medicine will somehow sort out the mess - that's the unspoken but always included sentence. Until the collapse.

One must always be aware that not only Sars-CoV-2, but also heart attacks, tumor diseases and strokes bring people into the hospitals of this country. Let's hope that someone will still be able to receive them there.



Photo by Piron Guillaume

 


Graduate Study MPhil and PhD
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