Community treatment reducing hospital burden

2023-01-06 09:43:09China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download
Special: Battle Against Novel Coronavirus

A medical worker checks oxygen bags at Xietu subdistrict community medical center in Shanghai, on Wednesday. Shanghai has expanded the capabilities of its community medical centers so they can treat more COVID-19 patients amid the surge in cases in the city. (FANG ZHE/XINHUA)

Shanghai has further increased the capacity of its community medical centers, aiming for the early detection and treatment of COVID-19 patients with the potential for severe symptoms to relieve the pressure on major hospitals, according to the Shanghai Health Commission on Tuesday.

From Dec 29, the city began expanding the overall capacity of community medical centers.

Before that, Shanghai had already opened 2,600 fever clinics in communities to tackle surging COVID-19 infections.

As of Jan 2, a total of 238 fever wards, 665 fever beds, 1,711 places for oxygen therapy, 2,562 places for infusion treatment and 243 cardio monitors were added to community medical centers.

"Communities are key to COVID-19 treatment, with local medical centers and doctors taking on the brunt of the burden to protect lives and ease the pressure on hospitals at this time," Zhang Wenhong, head of the infectious disease department at Shanghai Huashan Hospital Affiliated to Fudan University, said during an inspection tour of a community medical center in Baoshan district on Monday.

"Most patients won't develop severe symptoms if they receive timely and proper treatment at community medical centers, and that hugely relieves pressure on major hospitals."

The Jiuting community medical center in Songjiang district has set up a special zone to treat COVID-19 patients, which is equipped with medical equipment including four cardiac monitors and 14 pulse oximeters.

The center has 84 beds, which are currently more than 90 percent occupied, according to Zhu Bei, the center's deputy director.

The center has an agreement with Jiuting Hospital to speed up the transfer of severe cases, Zhu said.

After its extension, the Anting community medical center in Jiading district is now capable of giving intravenous fluids to 50 people at a time.

The center's working hours have been extended to 9 pm, and the number of patients requiring IV drips it receives per day is around 35, with 90 percent being redirected from hospitals, according to the staff at the center.

According to the city government, it is enhancing the training of community medical workers and providing them with remote guidance.


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