Following epidemiological situation in the Tuzla Canton and the growth in the number of COVID-19 positive patients, the University Clinical Center Tuzla has started with expanding of COVID department bed capacity at the Clinic for Infectious Diseases. The capacity of this department will be expanded to a total of 100 acute care beds.
Head of the Clinic for Infectious Disease and a member of the Crisis Staff of the Cantonal Ministry of Health Prof. Dr. Sead Ahmetagić said: “Acting on the advice of the Cantonal Crisis Staff in preparation for any COVID-19 outbreak scenario, the Clinic for Infectious Diseases was appointed to prepare COVID-19 department with capacity of 80 beds.To consolidate resources and optimize the management of COVID- 19 positive patients with difficult clinical presentation and comorbid diseases such as oncology disorders, hypertension and diabetes, we have taken steps to make more beds available for COVID-19 patients. Our intention is to provide adequate inhospital conditions, supportive therapy and multidisciplinary specialists’ approach for critical care patients to avoid the need for full mechanical ventilation. We have also provided new medical equipment. The COVID department is equipped with portable ventilators for management of sudden deterioration of patient’s condition, vital signs monitoring system, and laboratory for arterial blood gases and electrolytes. We also have a hemodyalysis machine for dialysis of COVID- positive patients.” said Prof. Ahmetagić. He also warned that more and more young people are testing positive for coronavirus.
“In the first onset we had patients with severe comorbidities, oncology patients, patients with hypertensia and implanted stents after cardiovascular surgeries, but now we deal with patients of the same comorbidities but with more difficult clinical presentation and younger age.”
The same problem addressed Prof. Dr Dilista Piljić, who we met at the exit from COVID department after the visit.” Currently there are 63 hospitalized patients, of whom 20 have a serious clinical picture and 3 patients with severe clinical manifestations who may require mechanical ventilation at any time. The patients are of all ages, and we must not think that young people are protected from COVID infection. ” At our department we have hospitalized patients of younger ages with a severe clinical picture requiring oxygen therapy.” said Prof. Piljić and called on citizens to “take responsibility” and follow the recommendations of the health authorities.
Our nurses and technicians are dedicated and essential workers in medical team during COVID-19 outbreak. Nursing team leader Hedija Hodžić, graduated nurse, said that all three floors of the department are fully occupied with patients and that the number of newly- admitted patients is increasing every day.
Several sectors and organizational units of the University Clinical Center Tuzla are teamed up and involved to build capacity and better allocate resources to departments that are in critical need. Technical staff employee Miralem Mešković told us about the hard and relentless work of his colleagues on the construction of communication corridors between wards and surgery, implementing internal-external triage stations and the anterooms for easier access to isolation rooms. He said that all technical works are going well according to work schedules and deadlines.