Special sequence for the Coronavirus: How the Berlin Charité hospital is preparing for the next weeks?

In the star-Podcast “The diagnosis of” talk to medical professionals about the exciting and particularly tricky cases of illness of their patients. But not so in this episode. Given the current situation, the editorial team has decided to let Professor Ulrich to come to the Free word. He is on the Board of the Charité hospital in Berlin, where she is responsible for the provision of health care.

The Berliner Charité is the largest University hospital with 3000 beds on three sites. Including the research departments, it has about 18,000 employees, of which approximately 4,500 nurses and 2000 Physicians. How is the clinic to the further spread of the Coronavirus Sars-CoV-2?

The conversation in full-length listen in the Player above. Excerpts of the interview can be read here:

When do you expect that more patients need to be included with Corona in the Charité?

At the Moment this is still speculation. That as many will come is clear. I have been following the case numbers in Germany. From the dynamics, one must assume that the cases increase in this and next week, in a significant order of magnitude, and you will be arrived end of next week in Germany at 5000, and in Berlin at about 350. The Figures have a dynamism that makes you afraid. The whole Situation is evolving from day to day. We try to be in the Moment before the wave of development.

What do you do at the Charité, in order to prepare?

We are working here at the Charité since the middle of January to the topic. We have currently Germany’s most famous virologists, Professor Christian Drosten. He has managed very early on to establish a Test for Corona, which was then applied here also. And we have made relatively early in the proposal, special study for Corona-diagnosis, to relieve our Central emergency rooms. There will now be inspected on a daily basis 170 of the citizens, who are the contact categories. The were in a high-risk area, contact with an infected Person or who have a clinical presentation plus a suspicion of a contact. In the last ten days, more than 1000 patients have been studied. Including about 30 were Positive.


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How to combine your forces yet?

We have adapted the pandemic plan from the year 2009 of the swine flu in Corona. And a pandemic-rod installed, a body with representatives from the clinical areas from the emergency departments, nursing departments, the corporate communications and logistics. You can vote every day, what is in the next 24 hours. A pandemic working group meets on a weekly basis, from the pharmacy to the laboratory. And we checked our resources and last week an order for a further 100 ventilators placed.

How many intensive care beds you have?

At the Moment we have beds 364-intensive, in which the patient’s respiration can be. Each of these beds is, however, evidenced of course in the Moment with patients, which are supplied because of other diseases.

How can you gain additional capacity?

By two ways. You can. for one thing, the elective SURGERY program, so predictable operations, cancel or postpone in order to get beds for you So we have not started yet. The other option is to find premises where it is possible to place additional beds and ventilators.

What are the options for this?

For one, an old isolation ward, which is used for disaster protection. Which is technically equipped so that you can cater to Ebola or Similar. Then an old building on the site, separated from the other departments, the clinic for infectious diseases, with 50 beds. Thirdly, there is the so-called Campus clinic, which is a from containers built hospital, which was built, as our house was renovated. There offices are at the Moment, but you can transform it within a week in a hospital. We will take starting next week in attack. And then there is still a container clinic at the Benjamin Franklin Campus in the South of the city, which is in six, eight weeks, ready for use. We have set up in there, because we want to outsource the actually stations, to renovate the house. So nice this all sounds, with these possible additional beds in the order of magnitude of the theoretically almost 500 – this only works if you have the personnel for it.

How could you solve the personnel problem?

This is not in this magnitude so easily. For that you have to cancel much of the planned normal cases and operations, and in areas such as diagnostics and cardiac catheter stations close and the staff be redistributed.

In Italy there are calls that doctors and care should return to the force from retirement to help. To a halt you as staff?

We have completely similar Considerations as the colleagues in Italy. Our care line is trying to staff that left early in retirement, to recover for the Intensive care unit. For the medical occupation it is to sell the planned operations and attempt to generate all of the personnel reserves.

How is the protective equipment for Doctors and nurses?

At the Moment, we are well equipped. The question is especially how to take of the staff, the fear of contamination. And we can’t send anyone come up with an Infected in a contact that was still undiagnosed, in the home insulation, such as the Robert Koch Institute recommends it for the Moment. Then you would have to send an entire Team home. And this is not possible. We can, on the one hand the staff with mouth protection. In addition, this staff will be tested daily on the Corona. We know from our virologists Professor Christian Drosten, of the special investigation, the PCR will be about two days before the positive, before the patient gets symptoms and infectious is. Through this daily Testing of employees, we can identify those in a timely manner, develop an infection.

How many Corona Tests in the laboratory at the Charité on a daily basis?

At the Moment there are about 1500 in two laboratories. We are working to increase this capacity with the newly ordered devices.

If you move predictable operations – it is also an economic loss for the hospital.

With regard to the economic side, especially for public hospitals, is the Whole blind. One can only hope that at the end of the epidemic, solutions are found. In two months, all the business plans and Budgets to waste.

How do you keep specifically, morning meetings in the hospital?

We try to keep the number of people small. The size of the group is a weak measure for the question: Is this dangerous or not. We have just discussed with the state Secretary of science, as it is with University education events, whether it is possible to carry out seminars with 20 or 50 people. The default from the Senate is that you should actually hold no seminars and more. We just need to consider, for example, a Professor from the professional life, because he sat at a parents ‘ evening in addition to a Corona-positive mother. You could say that 10 persons are less risky than 20 – but you can’t rule it out.

How is it with the supply of hospital Equipment?

The normal Equipment you can order, there is not hoarded. Where there is a bottleneck, are disinfectants. Which are not by their nature easy to. And if you can, obtain, offer you the manufacturer of the part in very large containers. I can put on the Station not a 1000 Liter Tank. The is then in the pharmacy and there must be vessels filled into One-Liter.

What are your main messages?

Firstly, You have to take the Whole thing very seriously. Especially for the Elderly, the disease can be life-threatening. Secondly, The citizens should Express their solidarity by avoiding risks. So rather stay at home instead of going to a Party.

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