Brazilian Natural Medicine

The performance of intensivists in emergency situations reduces mortality — English (Brazil)

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The Ministry of Health estimates that up to 70% of hospital admissions could be prevented with good lifestyle habits and early diagnosis of diseases. However, in cases in which patients require advanced life support, the intensive care professional is essential for routine care and mortality reduction.

The importance of these professionals gained prominence during the covid-19 pandemic, when the demand for intensive care increased substantially across the country. Hundreds of intensive care physicians and nurses also volunteered in the National Force of the Unified Health System (FN-SUS) to help care for patients in different regions of the country.

The National Force of the SUS is a cooperation program aimed at implementing measures to prevent, assist and repress epidemiological situations, disasters or lack of assistance to the population when the state or municipality’s capacity to respond is exhausted.

In addition to the health crisis caused by the coronavirus, the highly complex care offered in intensive care units (ICUs) requires professionals to be prepared to deal with a series of advanced technical procedures and an emotionally exhausting routine. In this environment, they reconcile daily stress with the readiness to assist and comfort relatives and family members.

Multiplying knowledge

An activity that, despite the challenges, is rewarding for Sue Helen Barreto Marques Wainberg, 38, an intensive care nurse for 16 years. Working in the trauma sector of the emergency department at Hospital Cristo Redentor, in Porto Alegre (RS), Sue highlights the characteristics of someone who works directly in SUS ICUs. “He is a professional who is familiar with serious cases and is used to dealing with patients with multiple factors, such as comorbidities, that demand a lot of attention. So, you have to be prepared on many fronts,” she admits.

Profiles like Sue’s are fundamental for health emergencies in the country. In 2017, during an outbreak of yellow fever in Minas Gerais, she volunteered for the FN-SUS and was assigned to work at a hospital in the interior of the state. The work guaranteed Sue a repertoire that she considers to be a differential in her profession. “In many places the situation is extreme, so you end up developing a global vision, from the elaboration of basic care protocols, considering situations of physical isolation of patients, to the development of technologies. It’s a learning experience”.

The nurse recommends the experience of volunteering as a way of exchanging knowledge for all health professionals, especially for intensivists. “There is an increase in resilience, in the view of the health care network, and that is when we realize how important our knowledge is and must be multiplied. You have to step out of your comfort zone”, she asserts.

Juliana Oliveira
Ministry of Health



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