There are no places for patients, even those with a risk of life. The helplessness of rescuers and ambulance service dispatchers and the hopeless situation of Warsaw hospitals – this is the picture that emerges from the recordings between the rescuers and the ambulance center, which was reached by the tvn24.pl portal.
The recordings available to the tvn24.pl editorial team come from Wednesday, October 14. They recorded conversations between the dispatcher and the crews of individual ambulances of the Voivodship Ambulance and Sanitary Transport Station on duty in Warsaw that day. Communication takes place using generally available radio channels.
We have been informing for several days that hospitals across the country are running out of places for patients suffering from COVID-19. The institutions also suspend admitting people with other diseases. Planned treatments are suspended, and more hospitals are being transformed into facilities only for those infected with coronavirus. Ambulances line up in front of the Hospital Emergency Departments, which was documented, among others, by a TVN Warszawa reporter.
Recordings from the Warsaw emergency service allow you to realize how dramatic the situation in the health care system is.
“Try to break into illegal activities”
The first message comes from 15.12. The ambulance crew asks what to do with the patient. The conversation does not show the condition of the person in the ambulance or what is wrong with him. From the context it can be concluded that the rescuers are waiting in front of the hospital. W. Orłowskiego at ul. Czerniakowska in Powiśle. Another ambulance crew joins the conversation, advising colleagues: “When we had a problem with transferring the patient to the Orłowski street, we stuck there on illegal transport. Try to squeeze in. Maybe it will work”. Their hopes are cooled by the dispatcher: “There are still transports waiting in the morning. Unfortunately, we cannot push it because there is no way. There is no way.”
After 20 minutes, the ambulance crew asks what to do with the patient. “We are leaving and going” – says the dispatcher. “But we have to throw him here at the door? Or where? Because they don’t want to open the door. The door is locked to the emergency room when you drive in” – they report from the ambulance. The police join the action. The dispatcher expects the officers to force the doctor to see the patient. Nothing of that. “The doctor on ‘Orłowski’ will not see the patient. He refuses to fill in any documents and declare that the patient may stay somewhere in the bushes. I do not know where. In the presence of the police. The police also say that there is nothing they can do about it. What next decision? ” – asks the paramedic from the ambulance.
At. 15.43 the dispatcher sends her to the Grochowski Hospital at Grenadierów Street in Grochów. The dispatcher complains that due to the lack of places in hospitals “unfortunately we are not able to provide teams for patients in need”.
The situation repeats itself on the Grenadiers. “They are blocked, because COVID is in the emergency room. Or there in the emergency room. So I only pass the information that there is no option for the patient to stay here” – informs the crew. “No, there is an option. You leave the patient for the Grenadiers. We will not move anywhere else. The fourth hospital that refuses to admit the patient” – says the clearly nervous dispatcher. The police are called again, but again the intervention fails.
More hospitals mean more failures. “Międzylesie does not want to accept it. There are no places” – report the rescuers. “Nobody has a seat,” someone in the control room says clearly.
At. 4:51 pm the dispatcher contacts the ambulance again. The context shows that in the meantime she talked to the provincial coordinator who designated the place where the patient was to be sent. The dispatcher informs the crew about this with a clear sneer: “You will not guess which hospital has been selected by the voivode, indicated for admitting your patient. With a smile on your face and proudly, please go to the hospital named after Prof. Orłowski. must see the patient. ”
This is the facility, the door of which lifeguards bounced an hour and a half earlier.
“Okay, let’s go, we’ll see. The next ones will probably be quarrels” – says one of the rescuers.
“No quarrels. The decision of the voivode” – cuts off the dispatcher.
This is where the recording ends. We do not know if the patient was admitted to the hospital. W. Orłowski, or what happened to him later.
“They have no staff, they don’t take on. They dug in”
The next recording starts at June 17, also on Wednesday. The ambulance crew reports that they have a patient with breathlessness, a cold and a temperature, but with a negative COVID-19 test result. The rescuer is to go to the Czerniakowski Hospital at Stępińska Street in Sielce. Feeling in trouble, she asks the dispatcher to advise the facility. Without success. At 5:24 pm the rescuer reports: “Stępińska claims that it is closed, they sent a letter, they have no staff, they do not take in. They dug in. The crocodiles are in the moat. And the patient is suffocating. Where are we going?”
“Patient with breathlessness?” – asks the dispatcher.
“Yes. The doctor came to the ambulance, when he heard the interview, he moved away and said that we should go to Wołoska. So we have nothing to talk about here. Where can I go?” – asks the lifeguard. The MSWIA Hospital at Wołoska is a single-name facility for people with COVID-19.
“But the patient does not have a confirmed result and Wołoska is clogged, he will not receive COVID without confirmation. We leave the patient at Stępińska. We leave the patient at Stępińska” – repeats the dispatcher.
“The doctor wrote down on the card, said categorically no. He will not accept, he will not give a bed and that’s it “- explain the rescuers.
The scuffle continues until 17.44. Dispatcher: “Listen to me, I was talking to the coordinator at the moment, who said that the Solec hospital will see you [na Powiślu – red.] this patient. And that the doctor from Stępińska who came to this patient said that it was not true, that he had 50 or 60 only 80 saturation. I do not know how he did it “.
“Good. 46 at the moment. I’m going to Solec.” This is the end of the recording. We don’t know what happened next with the patient.
– A person with saturation at this level qualifies for immediate connection to a respirator – says tvn24.pl a doctor working in the covid ward.
“They are dying and they will be dying”
TOK FM radio informed about the dramatic situation in the Czerniakowski Hospital on Wednesday. A group of doctors of the internal medicine ward are planning to leave work, and the Warsaw town hall dismissed the management of the facility. More and more patients with COVID-19 are arriving at the hospital and there is nowhere to transport them. On Tuesday, a dramatic post on Facebook was posted by the head of the Clinic of Anesthesiology at Czerniakowski Hospital, Dr. Tomasz Siegel.
“There are no places for COVID-19 patients in the whole country for a long time. (…) The statistics are fictional. The number of ventilators does not matter, what counts is the number of intensive care stations and staff capable of treating the most seriously ill. A week ago, there was a line of 12 COVID patients for a respirator at the hospital of the Ministry of the Interior! ” – wrote Dr. Tomasz Siegel.
According to his report, on Friday, October 9, he received an order from the Ministry of Health to launch 38 covid beds in his hospital. “Where should we evacuate the sick who are occupying these places at the moment? Where to move them? The minister did not say, he could not, because there are nowhere to be places. Which hospital will take over the area of the last internal ward for uninfected patients from southern Warsaw? no one is able to take over anything, since he himself is totally burdened. (…) From the very beginning, these ordinances remain a fiction. Created to hold a press conference and wipe the blood of people who are dying in front of our eyes and will be die for lack of help “- Dr. Siegel ends his post.
The photos used in the video materials with recordings from the ambulance service are for illustration purposes. They do not present situations that are the subject of discussions between rescuers and dispatchers.
Main photo source: TVN24