Debate of the cycle ‘Two years of the coronavirus’

Lucía Castillo, Federico García (standing); José Francisco Vargas and Silvia Martínez Diz, speakers of the debate.

More than two and a half years have passed since the coronavirus appeared and turned the health systems upside down, but also the lives and customs of many people, especially that of health professionals. Such was the emergency that workers from different fields came together to try to alleviate all the damage and problems that Covid-19 was leaving behind. currently though The virus is still present, its danger has decreased abruptly and the health workers take stock of the lessons it has taught them and also of everything that would have to be changed in the face of future pandemics.

Complete debate ‘Two years of the coronavirus’

Medical Writingtogether with the collaboration of gileadhas held its fourth meeting within the cycle ‘Two years of the coronavirus’. After the previous calls held in Barcelona, ​​Santiago de Compostela and Valencia, on this occasion Granada has hosted this latest debate in which the participants have reflected on what these two and a half years have been and meant since the arrival of the coronavirus, with the emergence of effective antiviral treatments.

In this last debate have participated Lucia Castillodeputy medical director of the Virgen de las Nieves Hospital; Federico Garciahead of the Microbiology Service of the San Cecilio Hospital; Silvia Martinez Diz, Preventive Medicine doctor at the San Cecilio Clinical Hospital; Y Jose Francisco Vargas, Head of the Emergency Section of the Virgen de las Nieves Hospital. All these hospital centers are located in Granada. Jesus Arroyo, head of the Autonomies section of Medical Writing, has moderated this meeting where the balance on the part of these professionals offers important learning for Spanish healthcare. Although it is not expected that a pandemic of this caliber will appear again in the coming years, the experts admit to being more positive, since the National Health System (SNS) is much more prepared than beforedue to improvements in knowledge and infrastructure.

Federico García: “This pandemic has brought technology to be able to deal with many situations that we were not capable of before it”

One thing everyone agrees on is that the pandemic has been a stress test on the health system and that, although “it cannot be presumed to have passed with a very good grade”, there are positive aspects, since it has known how to turn this crisis situation into new opportunities. Federico García, considers that in his specialty, the Microbiologya positive balance has been achieved, since Your service has been valued and a “very important” technological development has been implemented. “The Microbiology Services have to be open at any time. This pandemic has brought technology to be able to deal with many situations that we were not capable of before it, ”he details. This specialty has been essential for early diagnosis and management and study of vaccinesdefends José Francisco Vargas, who believes that “this has come to stay.”

A moment of the debate ‘Two years of coronavirus’, held in Granada.

The big ones challenges that society in general has faced, including scientists and health workers, among others, can be summarized in three questions, according to Silvia Martínez Diz: share knowledge in real time, the early diagnostic capacity and the ability to create vaccines in record time.

Emergencies as epicenter

Although if there has been an epicenter in the management of this pandemic, it has been the hospital’s Emergency Department. “It has been the pillar of the health system,” summarizes Vargas. “Plastic surgeons, oncologists, traumatology residents have been in my center and in all of them… everyone has been on duty in the ER and learning to manage covid patients.” With this, he argues, they have had the opportunity to train as health workers and as a team, which has allowed them to bring the information to the final professional who saw the patient. “Organizing this knowledge and getting it to the professional on their feet has been a very important task that is here to stay,” he summarizes. To do this, he says, scholars met in the mornings, reviewed what was being done in the world on covid and in the afternoon they “rescheduled” it and put it in a QR code in the Emergency rooms so that all the professionals could consult it instantly.

“The pandemic has revealed how important Public Health was, how important it has been to create networks between all levels, both in Primary Care and in Hospital Care, diagnostic work…”, Martínez Diz sentences. In this sense, Vargas recalls that “Emergency medicine is chaos and our obligation is to organize that chaos. We do not know how many patients come, nor with what severity or priority. We have learned that ordering it, ordering knowledge and ordering spaces”.

As an example, Vargas points out that the hospital where he works completely reformed the ER, in order to have the facilities adapted, in case something like this happens again. “We have made diaphanous and panel emergencies, which has also been a great innovation. In record time they have changed the physiognomy of the hospital”, he comments.

turning points

The common points that have marked the course of this pandemic are several. First, the paradigm shiftsummarizes Federico García, which took place when We went from addressing the covid problem as a general problem to addressing it as a disease especially to be taken into account in vulnerable patients.

Silvia Martínez Diz: “We have to continue monitoring both in diagnosis, isolation and antiviral treatments”

Lucía Castillo knows it well, who explains how the onco-hematological patient has been kept practically isolated, avoiding its contagion, allowing them to build a wall so that the rest of the hospital would be devoted to the rest of the patients. One of the positive issues that can be drawn from this pandemic is the existence of effective antiviral treatments for another type of vulnerable patient, the immunosuppressed: “We have antiviral treatments for those patients who do not make an immune response when we have used the vaccine, we also have treatments directed at the virus and in some hospitals we have come to enjoy high-flow oxygen therapies.”

Part of the conversation between the facultatives.

Although the other big turning point was headvent of early diagnosis, the vaccine (currently there are five approved by the European Commission) and the treatment. “In two years we have gone from knowing nothing to having a therapeutic arsenal, both prophylactic and treatment. We can address it from the vaccines, and we can evaluate treatments depending on whether the patient presents a mild, moderate or severe condition ”, lists Martínez Diz. But these advances do not mean that the hospital can lower its guard. “We have to continue to monitor both the diagnosis, as well as the isolation, as well as the treatment.”

Regarding the latter, despite the fact that there are currently drugs that help reduce the severity of the disease, Castillo considers that there is no definitive drug “nor should there be”, because you have to adapt to the characteristics of the patients you have. “The idea is that the more there is, the better,” he says.

Parallel advance in other viruses

But not only has vaccination brought great advances to stop the covid, but also other viruses, such as HIV, have benefited from the pandemic. “The possibility of having a vaccine has never been contemplated and thanks to the technology that has been used and that it has been possible to use it for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, messenger RNA is being used right now to study and advance a lot in getting a vaccine for infection of HIVGarcia says.

Finally, Federico García recalls that information about the covid will continue to be generated and that people will continue to learn. “Is not over, is a serious problem and to monitor in these vulnerable populations. It has the ability to vary and also adds something that is very relevant: it infects a lot. The same is thought by José Francisco Vargas, who points out that this is a virus without seasonality, which is “the worst thing too, no matter how hot or cold, the covid is present throughout the year. And for this reason we must continue to be vigilant”.

The information published in Redacción Médica contains affirmations, data and statements from official institutions and health professionals. However, if you have any questions related to your health, consult your corresponding health specialist.

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