Mexico City hospitals are filling up, but are on the streets

MEXICO CITY (AP) – Radio sometimes on Latin American dance tunes – Salsa, Cumbia, Ranchra – bring a bit of movement to the emergency room at Ajusco Medio Hospital in Mexico City, which is normally well-known due to the coronovirus epidemic Is being operated from

The head of the emergency unit, Dr. Marta Patricia Mankila says the stuffed soundtrack is distracting from the routine at the packed hospital, where some people have knelt at the emergency room door, praying for relatives suffering from the disease.

Azusco Medio Hospital, which operates in the city, has been named as one of the few specifically COVID-19 hospitals out of nearly nine million, and empty beds are rare, having been eight months.

“The worst is still to come,” Mancilla said.

“And unfortunately, it is very tiring of us,” he said of the medical personnel who are constantly working in the grip of the disease. About 2,000 health care workers are confirmed to have died of the disease throughout Mexico.

The toll is psychological and physical, and it is as clear as the director of Ajusco Medio Hospital, Dr. Numbers written on a erasable whiteboard in Alejandro Avalos’ office: Total patients are at 122% capacity, intensive care at 116%, and emergency unit at 100%.

“We haven’t been below 100% since May,” said Avalos, whose hospital – a government facility that treats patients for free – has been temporarily expanded to cater for waves of coronovirus cases . Citywide, occupancy was 69% in hospitals this week.

Yet as full as the city’s hospital is, its streets are thrilled once again; In some more central parts of the metropolis, almost everyone wears a face mask, but in other poor, outlying areas, fewer people do.

The situation has worried the authorities. Millions of people typically gather each year for the December 12 holiday of Mexico’s Holy Virgin Guadalupe day, and Mexico holds the norm for huge family celebrations for Christmas.

It made an urgent appeal on Friday to President Andrés Manuel López Obredor, who decided to expand 500 more hospital beds in Mexico City and requested Mexicans to stop congestion on the streets and stay home in December.

“In this month, in December, there are traffic problems, an increasing number of vehicles on the roads,” the president said. “Right now, we can’t act this way.”

López Obredor announces new recruits to help tired medical personnel. “There’s a lot of fatigue, fatigue,” he said.

According to official data, at least 13,800 people have died from COVID-19 in Mexico City alone. Officials say the number is probably higher due to limited testing, especially in the early months of the epidemic.

The methods have improved since the city’s hospitals went to shack in May and June, when patients were treated in the hallway and relatives of the deceased were not even allowed to enter the hospital to identify the dead bodies. Avalos’ hospitalization has seen a significant drop in case mortality, but an emotional cost as well as improvement.

“Our way of thinking has changed,” Avalos said. “We have learned to cry with people, suffer with people, to understand people better.”

On Friday, the mayor did not lift the city back to maximum vigilance levels as some had expected, and employers feared it would require a trade-off. But Shinbaum said that some of the measures that were in place during the previous maximum alert would allow people to isolate themselves, suspend non-essential local government activities and in one count the number of people entering the capital’s colonial-era downtown Including authorizing outposts to limit people will start again. Time.

Health care seems to be worn out for the patience of professionals. Last week, a group of doctors and nurses at the city’s largest La Raza state hospital signed an open letter threatening to stop treating COVID-19 patients until the city was partially locked out The announcement was not made, as it did in the spring.

“If it was bad in May, it’s worse now,” said a doctor who signed the letter, and who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals. “There are fewer doctors,” he said, due to infection, or doctors are simply taking leaves of absence, because they cannot withstand pressure, fear, and overwork.

Just as bad, the anesthesia medications needed to successfully intubate patients and place them on ventilators are running out. “It is shameful to say that some patients have to have their PCR tested and find a hospital that will take them, because there are no beds”, he said in free government hospitals.

Lopez Obredor has rejected any sort of strict lockdown, saying measures of “dictatorship” have been taken.

Some wins are; At Ajusco Medio Hospital, one of the 36 patients on the ventilator has been machine-cut and is recovering. A child was born, separated from its mother, who has COVID-19.

The hospital has set up outside tents to locate and triage incoming patients; Some could be sent home with drugs, others were admitted. This has allowed the hospital to greatly increase the number of people who believe it.

But the signs of wear are clear: the hospital’s CT scan machine is being repaired after about 4,500 lung scans in recent months to detect coronovirus damage.

The psychological toll is obvious to patients, even those who are alive.

Maria Eugenia Ortiz, 51, and her husband – they were both infected – came to the hospital for their third checkup since being sent home with drugs. She chose to endure the illness at home as she panicked from the hospital. In her worst moments, she struggled to breathe. Fourteen of his friends and relatives have died of the disease.

“Everything will turn black and I will feel like I was swimming,” Ortiz recalled. “My chest was empty and cold.”

Now, Ortiz feels more confident in doctors.

“Earlier, doctors wouldn’t help you, more afraid, we didn’t know what to do,” she said.

But attitudes change slowly; Medical personnel still question whether residents of the city are taking the epidemic seriously.

“We’re getting fed up more and more,” said the doctor at La Raza Hospital, who was self-infected. “In Mexico, killing people is not a disease, not just lack of information, poor handling of the epidemic and ignorance of people. After working 24-hour shifts, entire shopping centers are discouraged.”

The emergency director, Mancilla, said: “Why do we put ourselves at risk if people are not paying attention?” It is out of hand, and it is difficult to keep going.


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