GEORGE NEWS - The number of Covid-19 admissions to George Mediclinic started dropping slightly from Tuesday 12 January after an utterly challenging December and first week of January.
"The second wave of the pandemic has definitely led to more admissions than the first wave, but the situation has started to calm down in comparison to December and the beginning of January," said nursing manager Jeanita le Roux.
Le Roux said with limited resources and available staff, they could not always provide all levels of care, and alternative arrangements were made to ensure the best care to patients. Due to good communication with the Health Department regarding the number of new cases in the city, they were able to regularly adapt their plans to help as many patients as possible.
Mediclinic treats Covid patients the same as other patients in their trauma unit. Upon arrival, they are classified according to their medical condition and the level of treatment is determined by the grade of severity of their condition.
"We got in temporary personnel from over the country. They came on a two-weekly basis and this was a great help to our staff," said Le Roux.
The hospital lost one staff member to Covid and currently, one staff member is positive.
"Our staff have been stars up till now. Their dedication, passion and love for their work have definitely carried us through. Unfortunately they are now getting exhausted and are especially emotionally drained,” she said.
“The public's support is a big motivator. On Christmas Day the community brought us the most beautiful flower arrangements. The primary schools also made us placards and declared us super heroes. People's prayers are also motivating our staff greatly and we would like to thank each and every one for their support."
George Hospital staff remain committed after long and intense year
George Hospital lost one staff member, Sr Chantal Cherry, to Covid-19 during December. This is the second staff member of the hospital who succumbed to the virus since the start of the outbreak last year. Since the outbreak, a total of 261 staff have tested positive. At present, 12 have Covid.
"Staff are generally tired after a long and intense year, but remain committed to doing their very best for their patients," said Roche Butler, spokesperson for the Western Cape Health Department.
"Many staff lost loved ones, and this is also taking a toll. We are very proud and extremely grateful for our staff who worked tirelessly over the festive season."
Butler said no Covid patients were shown away during December and January. "As the designated high care/intensive care unit for the Garden Route, the hospital worked closely with the district hospitals to prioritise the most urgent patients."
Still high number of critical care admissions
She confirmed that the hospital is still treating a high number of critical care admissions and other Covid-19 patients. "However, preliminary information shows that there has been a slight reduction in the number of new admissions."
The hospital currently has 58 occupied Covid-19 beds out of a capacity of 62 (including 24 critical care beds). The hospital works closely with Harry Comay Hospital, which also has additional capacity for Covid-19 patients who require admission.
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