April 3, 2020

Adventist Hospital in Germany Sets Up Coronavirus Rescue Center

Walfriede Hospital, a Seventh-day Adventist medical facility in Berlin-Zehlendorf, Germany, reported that it has established a pandemic crisis team, which is working overtime to make sure it can meet the challenges posed by COVID-19 in the area. The hospital has also set up a rescue center to provide care for people suffering from the symptoms of COVID-19. 

The announcement came from Bernd Quoss, CEO and president of Waldfriede Hospital, in a message to the board of directors. Quoss also reported that two coronavirus patients were in the Waldfriede intensive care unit. Adventistischer Pressedienst (APD) first reported about the two COVID-19 patients in the hospital ICU on March 18, 2020.

Meeting the Challenges

The pandemic crisis team, set up and overseen by Quoss, meets with head physician Carsten Büning to “discuss and adjust to the situation hourly.” 

Every day, Walfriede has had to cancel up to 60 surgeries to take care of the surge of COVID-19 patients. The hospital also reported that outpatient treatments are substantially reduced, as a complete station is already closed and another will be turned into an isolation station. 

Some patients have been discharged as soon as medically advisable, to make bed availability as high as possible, hospital leaders reported. Nurses and doctors have been recruited from other areas of the hospital to staff the rescue center and intensive care unit. 

“The reason the challenge is so great,” the hospital manager said, “is that on some days, up to 30 nurses are reported sick.”

As part of these extraordinary measures, the hospital’s main meeting room is being used as the coronavirus rescue center, hospital leaders reported. Previously, it was used for multiple services, such as hospital staff meetings, training and company meetings, and even a local church community on weekends.

Another drastic measure taken at Walfriede is using only one operating room, but around the clock. The usual limitations on hospital employee work hours have been suspended, and the management set up a hospital kindergarten from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. to help staff come to work. Also, five ventilation stations are being added at high cost, the hospital reported.

Quoss said one of the biggest worries, besides the shortage of supplies such as masks, is the long time for laboratories to conduct COVID-19 tests, which can take up to five days. At the same time, he reported, overall Walfriede has the situation “well under control,” something he attributed to the competent German health-care system and because organization processes seem to be working better in Germany than in other countries.

About Waldfriede Hospital

Waldfriede Hospital is integrated into the hospital's own health network, which has now become the most diverse medical and care provider in the Steglitz-Zehlendorf district.. Besides Walfriede, the health network includes other Adventist-managed health-care institutions, including PrimaVita Health Center, a retirement home, and an outpatient day clinic. In 2020, Walfriede will be celebrating 100 years of service.

The original version of this story was posted by Adventistischer Pressedienst.

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