About a hundred families from Sant Feliu (Barcelona) and other nearby municipalities have put themselves on the warpath against the plans of the Department of Health of the Generalitat of Catalonia, which go through converting the nursing home where their elders are admitted into a regional reference center for the treatment of Covid. In this way, the elderly who test positive for coronavirus in other residences will be sent to this, where they will live with healthy inmates and will cause, for example, that their families cannot easily visit them or that their exits abroad are restricted.
Last summer, the relatives of the around 90 inmates of the nursing home Falguera, in Sant Feliu, received with some enthusiasm the news that the center was going to undergo a series of works to install a system of oxygen supply with 54 stations. In this way, those inmates who may require ozone therapy could do so in the same residence, without the need to be admitted to a hospital.
But that initial enthusiasm flew through the air on November 10, when families received a new communication from the center in which they were informed that the Department of Health of the Generalitat has informed them that they will become Reference Center of the region. In other words, they will carry out temporary admissions of Covid cases to be able to provide service and deal with outbreaks derived from the pandemic in other residences.
Healthy and sick, all together
The announcement fell like a bomb among families, as they believe this will potentially increase the possibility of infections. In addition, the center will have «red rating, whereby the current regulations does not allow visits and exits of short duration to avoid contagions ”, denounce the families.
This same week, the families met with municipal representatives, with the management of the center and members of the Department of Health. At that meeting, they conveyed their position against turning the residence into a reference center for Covid, alleging the danger that this may cause to their relatives and demanding that those who suffer a coronavirus infection in another residence, are admitted to a hospital and not in a nursing home with healthy seniors.
Both the Generalitat and the City Council informed them, unexpectedly, that the plans “For now” they had been paralyzed. Due to technical and bureaucratic reasons, the residence of the elderly cannot yet become a reference center for Covid, despite the fact that it has already undergone all the necessary works for this.
“Isolate them, don’t mix them”
However, families believe that it is a false ‘step back’, a strategy of the Generalitat to try to avoid the media noise that they have begun to make with their protest, which have already called a large concentration in front of the doors of the center and are willing to do so “as many times as necessary. They suspect that, when tempers calm after this announcement, they will take up the plan again and mix their family members with Covid-positive patients. And for that reason they have not put aside their protests.
Relatives of residents demonstrate outside the center this week.
“We are not against the reception of other residents, nor against becoming a reference center in terms of care; but we cannot allow Falguera to become a reception center for positives at the regional level; due to the risk that this entails, considerably increasing the possibility of contagion from our relatives and the corresponding restrictive measures, “the relatives denounce.
«Neither this nor any residence can become a reception center for positives. The Spanish Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology indicates that it is necessary to isolate outside residences to Covid patients, do not mix them. Our elders have the right to medical assistance in a hospital, even if they are asymptomatic “, they allege.
No respirators for seniors
The management of infections in residences in Catalonia has been highly questioned during the pandemic. The Generalitat, As revealed by OKDIARIO, on March 24, it demanded in an official document not to apply respirators to those over 80 years of age. The document did not hide either the title or the central message. The title of the document was “Recommendations to support the decisions of limitation of therapeutic effort for patients with suspected covid-19 and acute respiratory failure ”.
The central message, repeated even in a practical guide, said: “Patients over 80 years: no ventilatory support.” «You will receive only oxygen therapy with a mask Monaghan-type high concentration reservoir ”, added the text.
The document of the Generalitat included this type of restrictions even for people over 75 with chronic problems. But it reaches the maximum degree in those over 80 years of age, where, in addition to requesting the total restriction of respirators, it added that “comfort treatment should be considered” to move to sedation.