Corona wave hits Germany’s clinics: can a collapse still be averted?

Corona wave hits Germany's clinics: can a collapse still be averted?

Of Matthias Bartsch, Jörg Blech, Annette Bruhns, Lukas Eberle, Katrin Elger, Markus Feldenkirchen, Kristina Gnirke, Annette Großbongardt, Hubert Gude, Veronika Hackenbroch, Julia Jüttner, Martin U. Müller, Cornelia Schmergal and Steffen Winter

The man with the white hair in room four of the intensive care unit couldn’t breathe. Now there is a tube in his windpipe, oxygen flows into his lungs. Through a window in the room door you can see how his upper body rises and falls in time with the artificial ventilation. 28 times a minute. The 83-year-old fights the pathogen Sars-CoV-2.

Over the course of Monday, nurses and doctors will have to watch his condition worsen. They inform the wife and daughter who arrive around noon. According to the new rules in Corona times, only one member of the family is allowed in the isolation room for 30 minutes. The woman is sitting next to her husband in full protective clothing and gloves, one hand on his forehead, one on his heart. The ward manager responsible for nursing decides to also bring the daughter in, he equips her with protective clothing and leaves her with her father. They can sit there as long as they want.

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