With planning, responsibility and excellence in management and care, Pequeno Príncipe Hospital faced the coronavirus pandemic while still offering specialized care to children and adolescents who needed assistance in the 32 specialties offered at the institution. For the new year, we wish you health and compassion, so that together we can build a world with more opportunities for everyone.
Those who followed the fight of Alisson Louback (photo), 16 years old, against the coronavirus (COVID-19) were thrilled with his victory after 41 days of ICU admission, four cardiac arrests and 12 days of intubation. Infectologists, intensivists, pulmonologists, cardiologists, nephrologists, neurologists, gastroenterologists, physiotherapists and nutritionists were some of the professionals who took care of Alisson so that he could leave this battle alive.
The teenager’s story illustrates what was 2020 for the Pequeno Príncipe Hospital: a year of overcoming. The coronavirus pandemic was added to the well-known financial challenges that the institution faces year by year, increasing the operational deficit by approximately US$ 3 million. It also expanded the service of the 32 specialties offered for this new, serious and complex pathology.
To cope with the new demand, the Hospital allocated an ICU with ten beds, a specific room in the Operation Room and an inpatient wing with 20 beds for these patients. More than 1,100 boys and girls with suspected COVID-19 were welcomed at Pequeno Príncipe, of which 242 had a confirmed diagnosis, from March to November.
In addition to them, the structure of the Hospital continued to serve pediatric patients who needed specialized care. There were about 10,500 hospitalizations, 42,700 outpatient visits and 10,138 surgeries performed until the end of October. Among these consultations, cases of high complexity stand out, such as 2,657 chemotherapy sessions, 3,912 hemodialysis sessions and 191 transplants performed in the first ten months of the year, which provided new life for children and adolescents like Tainara Vidal, 16 years old, which received a new heart; Antoni Demétrio (photo), 5 years old, who had a bone marrow transplant to beat leukemia; and Mathias Wagner, just one year old, benefited from the resumption of liver transplants at Pequeno Príncipe.
Getting to know SARS-CoV-2 in depth, understanding how it works and finding ways to overcome it has been an intense search by scientists all over the world. Researchers at the Pelé Pequeno Príncipe Research Institute were also involved in this search. In addition to the more than 100 projects already underway at the institution, 11 new studies related to COVID-19 were prepared.
Among these projects are the “Investigation of chronic and degenerative inflammatory sequelae caused by COVID-19”, in the different organs and systems of the human body; the “Development of in vitro tools such as 3D artificial lung”; and the “Production of equine antibodies with potential application for the diagnosis of COVID-19 and neutralization of SARS-CoV-2”. To learn more about the research developed at the institution, click here.
At the same time that professionals who are at the forefront of care and research were dedicated to patients and the search for new alternatives for diagnosis and treatment, the Hospital’s management planned and executed actions to ensure the quality of care, feasibility of research and the safety of patients and staff. The creation of the COVID-19 Observatory – a management tool that allows the pandemic numbers and learnings to be monitored in real time – allowed for fine adjustments to be made, in addition to leaving a legacy of ample knowledge for coping with crises of this size, a threat increasingly present in humanity in the face of globalization.
While health professionals moved the world with posters and pictures that asked the population to stay at home, emphasizing the importance of social distance to save lives, in Pequeno Príncipe they also received special care. There were more than 2,000 hours of training inside the Hospital and at the institution’s Realistic Simulation Center for the safe care of COVID-19 cases. In addition, a specific clinic was set up for the distribution of personal protective equipment and consultations and tests for employees in cases of suspected contamination. Until the month of October, the outpatient clinic performed 2,145 visits, 1,791 exams and distributed more than 8,500 personal protective equipment, such as N95 masks and face shields. The professionals’ mental health also received attention, with projects that made individual and group assistance possible. In the period, 261 employees infected by SARS-CoV-2 were registered.
With the RT-PCR exam internalized in the Genomic Laboratory of the institution itself, professionals now have access to the results of their exams in less than 24 hours. This measure, in addition to ensuring comfort and safety for professionals, provided savings of more than 11,000 working days that would be “lost” because of the removal of professionals with suspected contamination. The drop in qualified professionals for care is one of the problems caused by the pandemic that has affected countries worldwide. By adding the diagnostic tests for COVID-19 to its portfolio, making them available to the community, the Hospital also generated a new front of work and income.
Despite being extremely challenging, the year 2020 brought humanity a great opportunity to review values and reframe the way of relating to others, consumption and nature. For Pequeno Príncipe Hospital, which has been caring for the health of the most vulnerable for 100 years, it was yet another moment to highlight the value of health, science, compassion and solidarity. And that is what Pequeno Príncipe wishes for the year 2021, which is coming: health and compassion, so that together we can build a world with more opportunities for everyone.
In this challenging year, we want to pay a special tribute to all health professionals who are at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus, of our institution and of many others around the world.
Our special thanks to all professionals who have knowledge in health, who combine theory and practice with the aim of caring.
To the professionals who abdicate daily from staying with their families to fulfill their mission of saving lives, our gratitude and admiration.
And to those who, while trying to cure, lost their battle to disease, be sure that those who stayed here will continue their struggle, with responsibility and courage.
Thank you so much!