Costa Blanca South News

Early flu outbreak puts hospitals under pressure

HOSPITALS in the Murcia region are already under a considerable strain due to flu outbreaks, and the increase in patients has put into question the effectiveness of the Accident and Emergency departments.

There has been a build up of beds in the corridors in the main hospitals at Arrixaca, Reina Sofía, Morales Meseguer and Santa Lucia and the Ministry of Health has announced a number of measures to attempt to reduce the pressure of care.

In one morning, the Arrixaca Hospital had 42 patients awaiting admission as well as another 23 in Cartagena, 16 at the Reina Sofía, nine in the Mar Menor and eight in the Hospital Morales Meseguer.

Each of these hospitals have seen reinforcements in the triage system and the number of discharges will be streamlined over the coming days, which will include a series of tests given to patients to ensure they are fit to leave and faster transfers back to their homes.

The increase in patients due to the extra flu cases and the arrival of the cold weather isn’t only affecting hospitals but also the first ports of call, namely the doctor’s surgeries and the clinics.  They are being encouraged to reorganise their usual schedules to leave more gaps to deal with urgent cases and reduce the number of appointments attended by the doctors.

The Minister of Health explained that Spain is still at the pre-epidemic level of influenza, with less than 30 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and that in the Murcia region it is expected that the peak of flu cases will happen towards the end of January and early February.

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