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Coronavirus Patients Wait for Hours in Ambulances Before Hospitalization in Vladimir

Paramedics do not have time to serve all incoming calls

The situation with the incidence of coronavirus infection is getting worse day by day. Another record daily rate of new cases has been recorded in the Vladimir Region. As of October 12, the region had 2,091 beds, of which 1,936 (92.6%) were occupied.

In the regional capital, the lack of beds became particularly acute a week ago, Ekaterina Ashaeva, a paramedic at the emergency medical station, told ProVladimir. Medical workers do not understand what is happening, they face huge difficulties in hospitalizing patients.

“I, for example, come to my shift at Aleksandr Matrosov, 28A [the address of the ambulance station in Vladimir]. If before there was an empty courtyard where broken-down ambulances stood, now it is full of functioning cars, where my colleagues with covid patients sit and wait for a seat. All night until morning. Sometimes they don’t wait and give it to the next shift, and they’re already waiting for a seat. The absurdity is that my colleagues can stand with one covid patient from 12 o’clock at night until 8 o’clock in the morning. There are no seats.

Last shift we worked, the calls stood for 31 hours. A person with a fever was waiting for us to arrive. Our wait times have gone up significantly. People are waiting – some at home, some in the ambulance for their place.”

Ekaterina Ashaeva also expressed bewilderment concerning the distribution of places at the Regional Clinical Hospital. According to her, the ambulance team brought a woman with a positive PCR test and 80% lung damage, but they didn’t want to admit her because her name was not on any list. What those lists were, the paramedic did not know. Thanks to the insistence of the ambulance staff, the sick woman was left in the medical facility.

If a patient tested positive for COVID-19 and has minor lung damage (up to 50%), he is usually taken to the Regional Center for Special Medical Care in Piganovo, to the hospital in Raduzhny, or to the hospital in Penkino. And it is much easier to find places for such patients than for intensive care patients, Ashaeva admitted. In a recent case, a man with 96% lung damage was waiting for hospitalization for a long time. At the same time, the Vladimir ambulance is not equipped with an oxygen station, as the brigades are designed to promptly deliver citizens to the hospital. Patients without PCR tests are not admitted to the covid hospital at all.

According to an ambulance worker, despite the appearance of Konstantin Baranov, the new director of the Health Department, there is no feedback from the authorities.

Vladimir is still served by 15-16 ambulance crews. And the fact that medical workers have to wait many hours for patients to be hospitalized makes the situation even more difficult.

Ekaterina Ashaeva added that now it seems that there are no other calls, except for suspicions of coronavirus. When workers are able to leave for other reasons, they are encouraged:

“Because when we come in for a shift change, they tell us, ‘Here are 104 calls, 100 of them with a fever.’

I can’t tell you how many calls come in a day. Today we are on shift, we get calls from the last shift. And how many – I do not know. Now we got a call that came in last night at 6 p.m.”.

On the positive side, nurses are consistently getting extra pay for working with coronavirus patients. Last year’s excesses were not repeated.

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