Lancet: protect the medical staff, the global medical system will be overloaded for several months

 Lancet: protect the medical staff, the global medical system will be overloaded for several months

According to the editorial, data from Chinas national health and Health Commission showed that as of the beginning of March, more than 3300 medical staff had been infected, and at least 22 people had died by the end of February, according to local media. In Italy, 20% of the medical staff involved in the fight against the epidemic have been infected and some have died.

In addition to the risk of infection, medical staff reports that they are physically and mentally exhausted, that difficult triage decisions are psychologically painful, and that losing patients and colleagues is painful.

With the acceleration of the pandemic, how to get enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical staff has become a big problem. In many countries and regions, medical staff are in the priority position, but in the medical institutions most seriously affected by the epidemic, there is a shortage of personal protective equipment for medical staff.

While waiting for the equipment, some medical staff have already received patients who may be infected or used equipment that may not meet the requirements. In addition to worrying about personal safety, medical staff are also worried about infecting their families after returning home.

Health workers caring for elderly parents or young children will also be severely affected by school closures, social segregation policies, and the disruption of food and other necessities. Healthcare systems around the world can run for many months in ways that exceed their maximum capacity. However, unlike the ventilator or ward, the medical staff can not produce quickly, nor operate at 100% power for a long time.

The editorial stressed the importance of the idea for the government: that health care workers are not just soldiers, but individuals. In a global response, the safety of healthcare workers must be ensured. Adequate personal protective equipment is only the first step. Other practical measures must be considered: including eliminating unnecessary events to prioritize resources; providing food, rest and family support; and providing psychological support. At present, medical staff is the most valuable resource in every country.

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