Drop in intensive care patients brings hope to Spanish hospitals


The pressure on emergency rooms is easing, with healthcare workers optimistic that the lockdown measures are slowing coronavirus infections.

“Fewer people are coming into the emergency room,” explains a doctor at Madrid’s La Paz hospital. “We have had more than 300 emergency cases in a day, and today we are under 200,” adds a staff member at the Severo Ochoa in Leganés. “The pressure has dropped slightly,” explains a spokesperson from the 12 de Octubre. “At the weekend we saw a fall, but we’ll have to wait a few days to see if the trend is confirmed,” they explain at the Vall d’Hebron hospital in Barcelona. “The number of incoming patients has stabilized after days of daily rises,” explains a chief of service at the Virgen del Rocío in Seville. “On Monday [March] 23 we treated 79 new patients for the virus. Yesterday that was down to 55,” explains the spokesperson from the Miguel Servet hospital in Zaragoza.

The situation is not the same in all of Spain, where the epidemic is moving at different rates depending on the region. But Juan Armengol, the president of the Spanish Medical Society for Emergencies (SEMES) admits that there is a “general impression” that the number of patients is falling, despite a lack of data. “It has fallen in the Madrid region at least, while in other regions such as Catalonia the rise has moderated or been halted,” Armengol adds.