Health system, on alert due to occupation of pediatric intensive care units – Bogota

Clinics and hospitals in Bogotá are on alert before the epidemic peak of acute respiratory diseases, which this year, according to the Ministry of Health, is considered “strong”.

The increase in cases has led the city’s entire public and private health system to take measures to counteract its first significant increase this year, Even after the waves of Covid-19, a virus that is also on the rise in the city.

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Acute respiratory infections, according to the Ministry of Health, are a group of diseases that occur in the respiratory tract and are caused by various microorganisms, such as viruses and bacteria, that begin suddenly and last less than two weeks.

These affect children younger than 5 years old and adults over 60 years old. However, according to Dr. Luis Jorge Hernandez, a health specialist at the University of Los Andes, the peak of acute respiratory infection is especially in children under five, due to viruses such as adenovirus, respiratory syncytial and influenza.

Hernandez notes that it was an epidemic peak of prolonged respiratory infection due to the winter, which was particularly severe and prolonged. “Another thing is that we are combining the lack of health care for chronic diseases into the epidemic. Both children and adults have spent almost two years without proper medical examinations due to quarantine, which has taken a huge toll.”

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The The measures taken by the Ministry of Health, clinics and hospitals mainly seek to increase the availability of beds, both in the pediatric intensive care units (ICU) and hospitalization., as well as in pediatrics. In fact, the idea is that this interest extends to hotels. The aim of these measures is to relieve overcrowding in health services, which are currently in high demand.

“We are starting to organize the intensive care units again, and we have never completely abandoned them, but we will assume that in a strict way at this time, all the intensive care units and also the intermediate care units, in matters of pediatrics, they are leaving,” said Alejandro Gomez, the Minister of Health. To be organized from the District Health Trust’s Crue, boys and girls will be able to be referred to critical respiratory care, regardless of which insurance model the family has or the critical patient.” .

Occupancy in pediatric intensive care units is 92.2% and general 74.4%, according to Saludata’s website numbers, as of May 26.

The occupancy rate in adult intensive care units is 69.4% in private institutions and 77.5% in the public health network.

As of the second week of May, 18,587 cases of SARI were reported in children under 5 years of age (16,851 in general hospital and 1,736 in intensive care unit). In 2021 there were 6,401, in 2020 there were 12,191 and in 2019 there were 18,298.

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Another decision is that all clinics and hospitals should improve waiting times, taking and presenting results that allow patients to be diagnosed, as well as email.Establish triage areas of care separate from emergency services for boys and girls with respiratory illnesses.

To these decisions, public health physician Luis Jorge Hernandez adds that “key messages” must also be communicated to citizens: first, how to keep the child healthy at home; Two, how to manage the flu at home, and third, what are the warning signs to be aware of.

The district entity also recommends citizens to update the vaccination schedule for children under 5 years old and for the most vulnerable residents, and indicated that there are 242 points in the city.

According to the Saludata page, there were 1,431 active cases of covid-19 in the past week, a 45% increase compared to the last week of April, according to the Ministry of Health.

It also suggests maintaining self-care measures, such as washing hands with soap and water every 3 hours or when they are dirty, and wearing a mask, preferably surgical, in health institutions, nursing homes, geriatrics, public transportation and the masses. Transit stations and transfer stations.

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But in addition to viruses that cause acute respiratory infections, the new coronavirus also continues to spread in Bogota. And figures from the Saludata page indicate that the last week of May there were 1,431 active cases, an increase according to the Ministry of Health by 45% compared to the last week of April. The most active cities are Usaken, Soba and Chapinero.

There is also an increase in the circulation of the Covid-19 virus, which has become influenza-like, that is, it appears with respiratory symptoms, ” Hernandez warns. This increase in cases is concentrated among the population aged 30 to 49 years.
The district entity confirmed that it continues to monitor the behavior of the Covid virus and continues daily active search procedures with sampling at strategic points in the city.

Measures to prevent respiratory infections

• Maintain an up-to-date immunization schedule for children under five and the most vulnerable population groups.
• Vaccinate girls and boys against influenza from the age of 6 to 23 months, people over the age of 60, pregnant women from the fourteenth week of pregnancy and people with chronic diseases.
• Wash your hands with soap and water every 3 hours or when they are visibly soiled.
• Ventilate all spaces and increase cleaning and sterilization of surfaces and elements of continuous contact.
• Use masks in case of respiratory symptoms.

When do you go to the doctor?

1. If the child has symptoms such as persistent or difficult-to-control fever, weakness, breathing faster than usual, chest noises, sinking ribs when breathing, or refusal to feed.
2. In the case of minors who are underweight, malnourished, preterm, or have cardiac, respiratory or nervous system disease, they are more likely to get sick and be exacerbated by acute respiratory infection. It is recommended to strengthen preventive measures and subject them to medical examinations.

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