In January, when Wuhan, Hubei province, was hit by COVID-19, many patients in the city struggled to find a sickbed. Recognizing the seriousness of the emergent situation, Tongji Hospital, affiliated to Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in the city, took the lead in restructuring its Zhongfaxincheng and Guanggu facilities, vacating 2,025 sickbeds for patients displaying severe symptoms in just 15 days.
"Facing the outbreak, it was our mission to find the direction, find effective therapies and carry out measures to fight against the pandemic promptly," Wang Wei, president of the hospital, told Xinhua News Agency.
As for the critically ill patients, Li Shusheng, a doctor from the hospital, noted that "a cough may lead to huge damage in the lungs".
But when the medical workers analyzed the causes of death, they discovered, aside from lung damage, many patients died from multiple organ dysfunctions. Taking this information on board, Liu Jihong, vice-president of Tongji Hospital, decided to separate medical workers into eight groups, each responsible for a different task, like opening patients' airways, protecting their heart functions or ensuring the health of their kidneys.
In this way, "everyone could give full play to their own strengths, and make up for their weaknesses", Liu told People's Daily.
Joining the more than 5,000 medical workers, from 40 teams all around China, the eight groups split their shifts to cover the workload at the hospital over each 24 hour period, during which they would monitor the conditions of patients on the hour.