LOVISENBERG (VG) The nurses who were supposed to be in the operating rooms have been reassigned to work with the many COVID-19 patients admitted to this Oslo hospital.
An empty operating room with unused surgical equipment. On the operating table, there must already be a patient who had to have knee surgery. A total of five operations were scheduled to be performed in this living room during the day. The corridors outside are empty because the staff has moved on to other jobs.
Four other operating rooms are also empty. Starting next week, more planned operations will be cancelled. This is the situation at the Lovisenberg Diakonale Hospital on St. Hanshaugen in Oslo.
– Patients should be contacted and their operations canceled in a short time. No phones are too fun to take with VG, chief medical officer Arild Aamodt tells VG.
– They made plans after that and many of them have major health problems. It also creates a lot of uncertainty because we can’t give them a new date, he continues.
50 percent cancelled
Lovisenberg is part of Helse Sør-Øst, which also has large hospitals such as Oslo University Hospital and Akershus University Hospital. Here, the majority of coronavirus patients in Norway are hospitalized and this requires a lot of resources.
At Lovisenberg’s orthopedic department, which performs planned operations only on patients who come from all over the country, that now means 50 percent of those operations have been cancelled. Operations for dozens of patients per day are being postponed and this will continue until mid-January. Nobody knows if this will be extended, but the capital’s high infection rates are not a good indicator.
Our patients expect a better life with less pain and a better quality of life. They want to go to work. Chief Medical Officer Aamodt says many are now affected.
Orthopedic patients do not suffer from life-threatening diseases, so they are generally very understanding. But they are disappointed by the delay in the operation, says the president.
Nurses who assist and monitor surgeons in operations afterward, will now work with Covid patients. On Friday, 15 of them were hospitalized. Two of them needed intensive care, which required several nurses per bed.
The nurses in the orthopedic department are assigned tasks that they do not perform on a daily basis and there is a change. The president says COVID-19 patients have a different kind of medical problem.
At OUS, it has postponed 20 percent of planned activity. At Ahus they do the same. Since the beginning of November, Diacon Hospital has canceled nearly 200 operations from the planned activities. Hundreds of patients are affected.
– This is the third round we’re doing and we know it’s taking months and we’re going back. Amoudt says there may be a deadline for what patients are entitled to.
If this wave doesn’t get worse, with a lot of oomicron infections in the community, he hopes they can resume operations again in mid-January. Then they will be able to weed out the processes during the spring.
– We have to work more and days will be longer, he says.
It is a very uncertain situation for both staff and patients. There are changes from day to day and no one knows what it will be like in a couple of weeks.
Until further notice, operating rooms will be mostly empty.
We do not treat the patients we want to treat. We are also committed to treating them. He says we are so sorry.
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