First operations postponed – Basel Children’s Hospital is looking for new staff due to the threat of overload

PublishedDecember 8, 2021, 12:53 pm

The Basel Children’s Hospital is sounding the alarm because of an above-average number of infectious diseases in children. The first operations have already had to be postponed, and there are sometimes waiting times of several hours in the event of an emergency.

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The Basel Children’s Hospital is currently struggling with a high occupancy rate and a shortage of staff.

Tamedia AG/Florian Baertschiger

Because an above-average number of children struggle with infectious diseases.

Tamedia AG / sea coast

Doctors mainly observe many respiratory diseases.

Doctors mainly observe many respiratory diseases.

Tamedia AG / sea coast

  • The Basel Children’s Hospital is reaching its capacity limits due to the unusually high number of sick children.

  • Compared to previous years, the hospital has more than one and a half times as many patients.

  • Now the management of the children’s hospital is urgently looking for new staff.

The Basel Children’s Hospital is currently running at its limit. Up to 200 children come to the emergency ward of the University Children’s Hospital every day, five to ten percent have to stay afterwards, as the newspapers from CH Media report. Most of the up to 20 children a day who require a longer stay in hospital suffer from respiratory diseases, corona infections are the exception.

“In a normal November we have around 3,000 emergencies, this November there were 4,700 – but the hospitalization rate has hardly changed,” Martin Bruni, spokesman for the University Children’s Hospital in Basel (UKBB), told CH Media newspapers. This development has resulted in a high utilization of the hospital.

Covid exacerbates staff shortages

The coronavirus is further exacerbating the bottlenecks. Due to illness, isolation or quarantine, employees that the hospital urgently needs are repeatedly absent. For this reason, the children’s hospital had to reduce regular operations this week, as Bruni says. Non-urgent interventions are currently being canceled in order to maintain basic patient care.

A transfer of patients to other hospitals has so far been prevented, and emergencies can still be treated. In the event of an emergency, however, you can expect several hours of waiting time, as Martin Bruni says.

Call on Facebook

With an appeal, the Basel Children’s Hospital started looking for new staff last Friday. “Urgently wanted: Nursing staff from all areas for child emergencies and IPS,” writes the hospital on Facebook. So far, 21 people have registered, including former employees, as Bruni says. Although this additional staff eases the situation, it is not yet enough to return to normal operations.

Above average number of infections

According to the spokesman for the children’s hospital, the ongoing corona pandemic is not a main factor behind the high occupancy rate. “So far, we have had to admit children to hospital because of Covid-19 disease extremely rarely. One patient is currently being treated for an infection, ”says Buri. What is more worrying is the large number of infectious diseases that the UKBB is currently observing: “Illnesses typical for this time of the year are currently more common than average, especially respiratory diseases”. That is why the eight places in the intensive care unit were completely occupied last week.

A clear reason for the extraordinarily high number of infectious diseases has not yet been determined. One assumption is that the corona measures also protect well against other infectious diseases and are now being followed less strictly. The children’s hospital hopes that the heavy workload can be weakened somewhat by additional staff, otherwise children might have to be relocated to other facilities.

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operations postponed Basel Childrens Hospital staff due threat overload

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