First Air Transfer for COVID-19 Patient in Costa Rica

    The airlift was from Liberia to Calderón Guardia Hospital

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    A 27-year-old patient in a delicate condition due to COVID-19 had to be airlifted from Liberia to the Calderón Guardia Hospital, the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) reported on January 22. This was the first air transfer for a lung injury related to the novel Coronavirus so far in the Pandemic, according to the institution.

    The patient required a type of therapy called “extracorporeal support”, which is applied only to the most delicate patients. Doctors draw blood from the body, filter it through an artificial lung, and return it to oxygen.

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    When specialists consider that the organs can assume their natural process again, the patient is disconnected from the machine, reported the institution, which did not detail the current state of the patient.

    For this type of therapy, each person requires the support of nurses, cardiothoracic surgeons, thoracic surgeons, intensive care physicians, psychologists, and respiratory therapists, indicated the Fund.

    In December, the institution also carried out the first “mega-transfers” by land from Pérez Zeledón and Liberia. On that occasion, the hospital saturation forced the transfer of 14 and 12 COVID-19 patients, respectively.

    Most COVID-19 cases

    Both cantons have become the main focuses of the disease, according to data from the Ministry of Health on active cases. Liberia (1,209 active cases) and Pérez Zeledón (2,343) are among the 10 cantons with the greatest impact of Covid-19, but with the exception that their hospitals have a much lower capacity for this disease. Pérez Zeledón, for example, has a capacity for 15 COVID-19 patients, according to the Fund in December, but it has had to accommodate up to 39 patients at the same time.

    Resonance Costa Rica

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