The world didn’t face a situation like this since a very long time and a pandemic is new to many European health carers. In this light the sharing of information is of utmost importance.
This was the objective of the first COVID webinar on March 28. Physicians from 9 European countries provided updates and shared their precious experience about the management of the pandemic in their respective country with the aim to help their colleagues.
The emergency physicians from Italy, the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Turkey, Norway and Greece all finalised their presentation with “Lessons learned”; more a personal reflection on the situation instead of looking at the numbers.
The common conclusion is that the preparedness of the healthcare systems in whole Europe is not up to par. It’s an eye opener we must learn from and turn the ugly truth into a lesson.
The most striking remark from Pascual Piñera Salmerón:
“It is not a time for reproaches, just work, then we will have to make a deep reflection.”
A part of this reflection will contain the conclusions that:
- Europe must be less arrogant. To think that something like this would not happen to us.
- In many cases there was no correct translation of strategic crisis management to field operations.
- The political management of the crisis is chaotic and different in every country.
- Governments have failed to develop effective policies with regards to the prompt availability of personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Protection of the staff should be a much higher priority. It motivates them to fight.
A strong encouragement for all to be humble, identify common parameters and standards for the EDs and work cooperatively and effectively to put an end to this emergency as soon as possible.
There is also a lot of positive to mention. Health care workers are demonstrating a strong collaboration, transcending specialties, proving their commitment to fight against a common enemy and towards a common goal.
So many people stepped up to help selflessly and got infected or even died providing care to patients or helping in any other way. We need to remember them forever.
The crisis has made very clear that the European Union needs to progress when it comes to protocols on a European level. By sharing information, we can help pushing for a European COVID ED protocol.
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The next webinar in this series will be organised on April 18, 9:00 CEST. Do not miss it!