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“The fifth wave arrives at a hospital which is bloodless”: Laurent Zieleskiewicz, anesthetist-resuscitator

“Two years after the start of the Covid-19 epidemic, I feel a double feeling of disappointment and worry. The fifth wave arrives on a hospital which is bloodless. Much of the nursing staff has quit and those who remain are extremely tired. Today, paradoxically, we can open fewer additional intensive care beds than in the first months of the crisis. We have the machines, but not the nurses. It is a statement of failure.

At the time, we shouted “Money for the hospital!” thinking that the Covid-19 would show the essential role of our establishments. Nearly twenty-four months later, we find ourselves even more fragile. The Ségur de la santé was supposed to improve the attractiveness of our businesses. The device is clearly insufficient.

“We cannot be asked to be a reservoir of beds in the event of a pandemic, to be the recourse for transplants, the severely traumatized, to train 100% of doctors in France and to be profitable. “

In our department at the North Hospital of Marseille, we opened five more beds, which corresponds to a 33% increase in our capacity. For now, this is still sufficient. We select patients, as we always do in intensive care, according to the individual benefit in the face of very invasive techniques and avoiding any relentless treatment, but we are not sorting out because there is only one left. a square.

We are concerned about the Omicron variant. Will it be less virulent than the Delta? The more the days go by, the more it seems to be confirmed. But, when we know that there are 5 million unvaccinated in France and that, roughly speaking, we can still open 2,000 intensive care beds, the ratio is not at all in our favor. The risk of being overwhelmed still exists.

I signed a platform with more than 500 doctors from the AP-HM to encourage Marseillais to be vaccinated… It reflects our feeling of waste when we see people arriving in intensive care when an injection and reminders could have avoided them. It is also a waste for the other patients whose care is deprogrammed. In our services, there are no skeptics about the vaccine.

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We are shocked to see that, in the televised debates, certain politicians are recouping on this subject and that we give the same speaking time to those who are for and to those who are against. The lesson to be learned is to stop managing the public hospital down to the nurse. We cannot be asked to be a reservoir of beds in the event of a pandemic, to be the recourse for transplants, for serious trauma patients, to train 100% of doctors in France and to be profitable.

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This obsession must give way to the obsession with care, as in the first wave. We need a Marshall Plan and I am amazed that this is not central to the presidential campaign. Because the hospital is a common good that must be preserved at all costs. “

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