Second surge is worse

The second surge of covid-19 is much worse than the first one,” says Dr Mariëtte Emslie, General Manager: Mediclinic Lephalale.

She explains that during the first surge, which was at the beginning of December 2020, there were never more than eight patients admitted in the covid ward at Mediclinic Lephalale.

According to Dr Emslie, Mediclinic Lephalale had to set up a second covid ward last week, as up to 21 patients were admitted for covid-19 over the past weekend.

The world is currently experiencing a second wave, and the Waterberg is seen as one of the hotspots.

Between 60 and 75% of the total number of patients who were admitted in Mediclinic Lephalale over the past week, were covid patients.

The current surge arose even before people began to return from holiday destinations. She says the ICU’s of all private hospitals in Limpopo as well as Tshwane are quite full and ventilators are very scarce. “Please stay at home if you can and wear your mask,” she urges. It is up to you to protect yourself by social distancing.

A new arrangement between private hospitals is the appointment of coordinators who source and allocate beds and ventilators to hospitals where it is most needed.

“Although we mainly follow the treatment regime of dr Taban, pulmonologist from Midstream, for our patients, one must remember that the mainstay of treatment for most covid-19 patients is oxygen. We use at least 32 cylinders of oxygen at Mediclinic Lephalale every day.

“If a patient’s oxygen saturation is lower than 90%, he/she is put on low-flow oxygen. If necessary, the flow might gradually be increased to high flow and if that still does not help, the patient can be put on a non-invasive ventilator. We have three of those.

“If the patient’s condition deteriorates further, he/she needs to be transferred to an ICU where there is a ventilator for invasive ventilation and where the patient will be sedated.

“If you are diagnosed with covid and you experience shortness of breath, please contact your doctor, or go to the casualties at Mediclinic Lephalale or Ellisras District Hospital. There you will be evaluated to determine if you need to be admitted and if you need oxygen therapy,” Dr Emslie concludes.

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