Infectologists have changed the way health is seen and cared for in the Covid-19 pandemic

Infectologists have changed the way health is seen and cared for in the Covid-19 pandemic
Infectologists have changed the way health is seen and cared for in the Covid-19 pandemic

“We sought experience from other countries, created a Crisis Committee and joined efforts to organize the hospital and avoid crossing patient flows. In parallel, we carried out an action with Anvisa on the importance of a standard to guide all health institutions ”, explains Viviane Hessel Dias, infectologist and coordinator of the Epidemiology and Hospital Infection Center at Hospital Marcelino Champagnat, in Curitiba (PR).

Infectologists have a fundamental role in the front line of coping with Covid-19, with an intense routine, mainly focused on training the teams, ranging from dressing up to the need for cautious patient care. They study the virus, analyze the complex relationship of the disease, its mode of mutation and transmission in order to know how to deal with all stages of care. This includes clinical protocols for diagnosis, treatment, physical structure for care and isolation, thus acting on all fronts.

Role that has gained more strength now in the new moment of the pandemic. With the escalation of cases, the discovery of new strains, strengthened prevention protocols and approval of vaccines, it was up to infectologists to identify and warn of the paths to be followed. “We see that the population’s awareness is a continuous and essential work. We live in a moment of uncertainty, but at the same time of learning achieved in record time ”, highlights Viviane.

Joint work on adjustments
The doctor emphasizes that, in order for the health institution to be able to adapt quickly to the new reality imposed by the pandemic, it was essential that all sectors – management, human resources, assistance team and infrastructure – come together. Environments of negative pressure, specific operating room and separate flows of patients with or without respiratory symptoms created a new structure within the one that already existed. “It was an assertive job and carried out with a lot of hands. We had a privileged issue, in which everything that infectology requested was answered, always thinking about the care security of the teams and the patients ”, he stresses.

Even hospitals that are not a reference for the care of Covid-19 patients, needed to review the entire flow of care, as is the case of Hospital Universitário Cajuru. Being a reference in the treatment of trauma and clinical cases by SUS in Curitiba, the institution also needed to adapt itself to ensure the safety of professionals and patients regarding the contagion of the new coronavirus. “Right at the beginning of the pandemic, the Cajuru Hospital underwent a series of changes and protocols to avoid contagion by both professionals and patients. In a joint effort between the health care team, infectologists and the hospital’s management, measures were taken to ensure the safety of everyone ”, explains the hospital’s care manager, Letícia Pessoa Salamunes.

Restriction of visits and companions, virtual medical bulletin and creation of a contingency unit for cases of patients with flu-like symptoms were some of the initiatives implemented with the guidance of the team’s infectologists. For Letícia, these and other actions have been essential to ensure the safety of professionals and patients, even if the hospital is not a reference in the treatment of Covid-19. “It is essential that restrictive measures are adopted even though the hospital does not receive patients with the new coronavirus. This is because everyone is exposed and vulnerable to this disease, both employees and patients, and not only in the hospital environment, but anywhere. With these measures, we reduce the risks of contagion and provide employees and patients with a safer place ”, he concludes.

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