in the Strasbourg emergency department, patient waiting hours and staff fatigue
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in the Strasbourg emergency department, patient waiting hours and staff fatigue

This image aired frequently this summer: patients are waiting hours before EMERGENCIES Strasbourg University Hospital, even days in the corridors, on a stretcher or who patient long hours in ambulances on the street, whether in Hautepierre or in the new civil hospital. At the end of August, the FO union again claimed the right to a warning and sent a written letter to the Minister of Health.

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Because even Dr. Alexander Bitun, hospital emergency doctor The University of Strasbourg acknowledges that patients who wait several hours on a stretcher may be at great risk.

“We know these patients are having complications. They get lung infections, they develop bedsores. And studies have shown that these patients die while on stretchers in the emergency room. And that’s what hurts. We know they get sick.” worse, but there is no other solution. It’s more than difficult, it’s unbearable. And we are on the verge of forced return home. That is, people who need a hospital, not an emergency room. They are sent home. because we know that they will remain on a stretcher and that the risk of remaining on a stretcher is probably greater than the risk of returning home. This sometimes leads to confusion for patients and their families. But sometimes we have to make this choice.The doctor explains.

Entrance to the emergency departments of the University Hospitals of Strasbourg - illustration
Entrance to the emergency departments of the University Hospitals of Strasbourg – illustration © Maxppp
Maxpppp

Doctor describes. dedication of medical staff. But also fatigue, satiety, which leads to resignations. And what’s more, even the desire to see a doctor. “The further I go, the more I realize that my life expectancy in the emergency department of a public hospital is shrinking.he notes.We are pressed. We are back to some form of fatigue. We identify problems. We don’t have a solution. We are dealing with this. We hurt. But we do it anyway. And you get used to it, to this low-quality care. It becomes dangerous because you lose motivation. And when we arrive at work, we are not 100% ready, and this is potentially dangerous for the patients I have to take care of.“, – says Alexander Bitun.

Ambulances in trouble

The congestion of the service described by the doctor sometimes spills over into the parking lot, where ambulances sometimes have to wait for hours. with your patients on board. “At the moment we now have 3 to 5 hours of waiting in the afternoon.“This is an ambulance driver who is accustomed to this place. “We have patients who are brought back for breathing problems, who are on oxygen, who are at risk of desaturation, who have chest pains, there are big risks behind this, but the public hospital does not require enough knowledge. , as I know my gestures, my job, I know how to monitor my patient. But it becomes more difficult to calm a patient who is in a hard plane in an ambulance for 3 hours. it’s almost not the same anymore” says the man, who wishes to remain anonymous.

According to Christian Prudhomme, FO Santé’s representative at HUS, the crux of the problem is to make the patient’s journey smoother, to offload care, from entry to exit. However, according to the trade unionist, after the disaster, many beds downstream are not enough. “A significant factor is that we have lost a significant number of emergency beds that are not open. So, of course, there are peaks, but every two or three days we are faced with a long wait for ambulances and a glut of stretchers in the corridors. It was estimated that about fifty beds would be required for liquefaction. But when you arrive at CCU in the morning at 8 am, there are 0 beds available.” He said.

How does management react?

In a press release sent to France Bleu Alsace, management wished to shed light on their response to the Strasbourg emergency. First of all, she recalls that housing and communal services have never restricted access this summer, even in the midst of a heat wave. Period especially gentle where are the other establishments specified sector their emergencies near Otpierre or a new civil hospital.

With regard to stretchers and waiting hours for patients in the corridors, HUS recognizes the situation as unsatisfactory. But management believes that patients stay safe under the supervision of medical staff.

The housing and communal services also note that the summer of 2023 was no worse than the previous one in terms of service attendance. The number of clicks even fell by 10% in August compared to last year and by 5% in July. Thus, the problem will arise mainly due to the lack of free beds in the subsequent departments of hospitals. In order to better manage these precious places, a bed manager was hired in June.

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