Cihan Celik in conversation: “Legalization is worth a try”

Dr. Celik, congratulations, the Federal President has awarded you the Federal Cross of Merit on a ribbon, it was presented to you on Friday in Wiesbaden. How does it feel?

This is an incredible honor for me. I also accept the honor for clinical work during the pandemic on behalf of the thousands of caregivers who have done the same. I’m especially pleased that so many people apparently value clear and practical communication on medical topics, especially in very turbulent and confusing times.

We regularly talk to you about medical and healthcare topics. What is the current situation at the Darmstadt Clinic and how was the winter?

At the moment, the infection season in the clinic has clearly subsided and we are busy with other diseases. We have far fewer flu patients; this was the last wave, which had subsided since the end of February. Some very elderly patients are currently infected with influenza B, which is now circulating after influenza A. In general, the pattern of last year can be said to be repeated: first a wave of Covid comes in the fall, followed by a wave of influenza in early January. Meanwhile, there has been an increase in cases of RSV infection, but it is becoming an increasingly serious problem in pediatric medicine. Compared to the period before the pandemic, we now had a significantly longer infection season in our clinic. There are currently two pathogens that can lead to multiple hospitalizations in the same risk group in winter, and they peak one after the other. Since these are the same risk group, education and vaccination campaigns must also be coordinated accordingly. This year, some patients have been a bit lax about receiving the flu vaccine, perhaps because flu waves during the pandemic have not been as severe due to hygiene measures. But now they have become quite intense again.

Will you be able to at least get through the rest of the year feeling good because you can easily assess how things are going?

This long infection season is stressful as more employees become sick at the same time. But in medicine you are very adaptable and have to plan, for example, infection control concepts. The season is longer, there are generally more patients, and there are fewer staff. But yes, at least we know roughly what to expect winter after winter and what hygiene measures will be necessary in the hospital. However, this remains a serious problem. The same applies to colleagues from outpatient practice.

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Is it possible to estimate the extension of the infection season even more accurately?

Before the pandemic, a wave of influenza in hospitals usually began only at the beginning of the year, and the intensity varied from year to year. In November and December, the problem was the absence of employees due to colds. Currently, the period for many additional hospitalizations due to Covid begins in October, and for flu it continues into February and March. So this season is twice as long as it was when Covid-19 didn’t exist. These observations are consistent with RKI data from weekly reports.

But they don’t have twice as many staff.

No, exactly the same amount. Therefore, this comes at the expense of the rest of the hospital’s activities. Beds have to be reduced and planned interventions have to be postponed.

Have you learned anything new about Corona this winter?

We continue to learn, and since February a new version of the German recommendations has appeared. However, nothing has changed in the main therapeutic strategies. Recommendations for drug therapy and blood thinning have been updated with additional evidence and slightly modified. Given the increase in population immunity and our experience, we can achieve good therapeutic success. The disease no longer poses such a threat to society; It also reduces the need to do things differently. Our open flank is high-risk patients with extremely weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients undergoing therapy. They continue to be the hardest hit.

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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