Intensive care unit at Son Llàtzer | Miquel À. Cañellas

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The Balearic Society of Intensive and Critical Medicine and Coronary Units (SBMICIUC) is warning of the strains in intensive care units caused by a lack of beds and specialist personnel.

In a statement on Thursday, the society said that "we consider it our duty to share our experiences and observation of a health service at the limit and on the verge of exhaustion". After "two long years" of the pandemic, the statement points to a situation in ICU that "is a reality". "We cannot and should not turn our backs on its seriousness and the implications this entails".

In addition to a shortage of beds, there is a lack of intensive medicine personnel, specialists specifically trained to attend to these units. These deficiencies affect Covid patients and all patients with any other pathology that requires admission to and assistance in an ICU.

This situation affects the quality of care despite "the enormous and constant efforts of intensive care physicians to provide the best possible care, even without having adequate resources". "We have constantly been forced to increase working hours and the number of patients that each professional has to attend to. This has been the only solution to overcome this crisis."

The SBMICIUC says that physical exhaustion is general. "Above all, there is the fatigue and frustration we feel, given conditions in which we are forced to work and that affect, as we have already pointed out, health care." Moreover, there is "a high degree of job insecurity that generates a lack of stability at work because of this uncertainty".

The limit at which the health service finds itself means that surgery is cancelled and that there are delays to consultations. These affect diagnoses and treatments that can be decisive for patients. Overload in primary care, "a mainstay of the system", is affecting patients.

The society concludes that the pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of health care, which has suffered cuts in both material and human resources in recent years.