A young woman with covid, from the ICU and without vaccination: “It is going very, very badly”

Vall d’Hebron performs an emergency cesarean section on a 31-year-old pregnant woman who was not immunized. The hospital is already preparing contingency plans for this Christmas.

The hospital pressure in Catalonia is, right now, similar to a year ago around this time. But there is two differences fundamentals compared to December 2020: at that time, the epidemiological curve was downward and, furthermore, a year ago hospitals were spaces exclusively dedicated to covid-19, as there were no accidents as mobility was restricted. This year, however, Catalonia enters Christmas with all indicators up and with the ucis of the hospitals taken over by other diseases, such as traffic accidents. The centers have less room to fit. And the ucis destined for the covid continue to arrive, for the most part, unvaccinated people. The next days and weeks will be a challenge, one more, for the health system.

Rachel, The 31-year-old gave birth to her two twins on Monday. The doctors did a emergency cesarean section because the young woman was infected with covid-19. She was not vaccinated. He tells it from the Vall d’Hebron Hospital, where he entered a few days ago. “It is very, very bad. The symptoms are strong. Everyone who does what they want, my experience is that it is very bad and that it is better to prevent it “, the young woman thinks.

He did not want to vaccinate because, he assures, it took her “a lot” to get pregnant. “At first they said that pregnant women did not have to be vaccinated, then yes … I was very doubtful. I did not know what to do because I was very afraid of side effects, to abortion … “, says Rachel, who is a native of Castilla y León and resides in Igualada (Barcelona). He claims that “no one” assured him “that nothing would happen”, although the doctors insisted that the vaccine has “more benefits than risks”.

The result of that decision is that this young woman has been admitted to the ICU for coronavirus. Luckily, the delivery went well. She is also found in good state, within fragility. And it is clear that you will be vaccinated as soon as you are discharged. Rachel, who was infected by her partner, remembers how the first symptoms were. “At first I only had nasal congestion, but then I started to feel worse. A very strong cough, which made me have rib pain and in the upper part of the belly.

I had pneumonia in the left lung. The doctors at the Igualada Hospital decided to transfer her to Vall d’Hebron, which considered that a caesarean section had to be performed so that she could breathe “better”.

Unvaccinated patients

Rachel responds to the profile of patients admitted to hospitals for covid. A tour of the ICU of the Vall d’Hebron Hospital in Barcelona, ​​the largest in Catalonia, gives an account of this. Are, mostly unvaccinated people. “They are the main profile. They continue to enter the ICU. They are not protected by the vaccine and are at risk. people in their 40s, 50s or 60s who are still not vaccinated, despite the fact that they have been able to do so for months “, says the Chief of Intensive Medicine of Vall d’Hebron, Ricard Ferrer.

The ucis also get infected with covid-19 patients who are vaccinated but have “risk factor’s” that cause them not to generate enough antibodies. For example, people with kidney transplant.

But, in addition, this sixth wave has brought with it a “novelty”, according to Ferrer: the admission of patients “correctly vaccinated” who have no other risk factor than age. “These were the first to be vaccinated and need, before the others, booster shots. Third doses “, Ferrer insists. “The message is this: it is not that the vaccine is not effective, it is that the third dose is very important. These people are unprotected and vulnerable, especially at this time when they will mix with younger age groups. “

Catalonia will start tomorrow third doses for those over 50 years. It’s been weeks since it opened booster doses for those over 60 And yesterday, in addition, it enabled them for all people, regardless of their age, who have been vaccinated with AstraZeneca (essential workers, fundamentally). To be vaccinated with the third dose, users must ask appointment in the web vacunacovid.catsalut.gencat.cat.

Assistance pressure

The number of admissions to the Vall d’Hebron ICU, according to Ferrer, is increasing, but there is also quite high. “We have had between 22 and 26 people with coronavirus, “he says. Expectations, however,” are not good “because the increase in infections will bring more income. Salut estimates that at the end of the year there will be some 500 people with covid in ucis from all over Catalonia.

“Now we have availability of beds, we can admit patients in early stages of the disease and they leave earlier “, says the internist. But the situation can be reversed at any time if the infections continue to explode. Last year, Catalonia entered the Christmas with the epidemiological curve “downward”. “This year we are on the rise. Last year no contingency plans were necessary; this, we are already preparing contingency plans for the next few days. “

More differences from the situation a year ago: at Christmas 2020, non-covid pathology was “much less prevalent.” “This winter -says Ferrer- it’s like the ones before the covid. ” What does it mean? That last year the pediatric, trauma and burn ucis were empty because children were not infected with coronavirus and because the mobility restrictions they greatly decreased accidents. That is, there was a whole ’empty’ space within the hospital to allocate to patients with coronavirus.

“But now it’s not like that. We have all normal activity plus covid-19. Pediatric, trauma and burn ucis are full. This does more difficult to adapt “, the internist points out.

“Tensioned” toilets

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The supervising nurse of the Vall d’Hebron ICU, Pilar Girón, regrets that there is a “distance” between what is lived on the street and what is inside the hospital. “It seems that people are not sufficiently aware of what is happening in here,” he values. “They think it will always be the last wave and it is not.”

That is why he insists that the vaccine alone is not enough and calls on the public to maintain the security measures, as the face mask. It also underlines that toilets are “stressed” because they feel that “there is no end”.


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