KBC Split Receives 6 Million Kuna in Cash Donations for Hospital Needs

Daniela Rogulj

April 5, 2020 – Over the last few days, Split-based KBC (Clinical Hospital Center) has received cash donations over HRK 6 million since the threat of COVID-19 in Croatia.

“Thanks a lot to everyone. People are donating for hospital needs, that is, for coronavirus purposes. All of them would like to buy ventilators, but since they are not currently available in the global market and are difficult to get, we are investing these donations into what we need to fight the coronavirus. A hospital committee was formed to control the spending of these funds. Various amounts are paid, ranging from small amounts to millions. And thank you to everyone, especially those of our citizens who took from their personal income or pensions,” says Dr. Julije Meštrović, Director of KBC Split for Slobodna Dalmacija.

Prior to this donation, only HRK 2.5 million had been spent for the construction work on Krizine to accommodate the special needs of patients infected with the coronavirus, and it is expected that approximately HRK 3 million will be spent.

However, despite the financial injections of various benefactors since the advent of the coronavirus infection, KBC Split has been closely monitoring developments in the world, and especially in Europe, to enter this war as readily as possible.

Since it was clear that the infection would affect all of Croatia, preparations for treatment began.

“The first and extensive infrastructure investments were made at the Clinic for Infectious Diseases at KBC Split in Krizine, where a new disinfection wing was built at the exit, direct exits to the terrace were opened in the patient rooms, and oxygen supply was installed throughout the hospital and sockets were installed for machine breathing,” notes Dr. Meštrović, who, by the decision of the Ministry of Health, was also named the coordinator for hospital treatment because of the pandemic.

In the next step, the entire Krizine hospital was transformed into a Respiratory-Intensive Center.

“By decision of the Ministry of Health, KBC Split was named one of four such centers for the treatment of COVID-19 in Croatia. KBC Split is the center for four southern counties of the Republic of Croatia. In order to agree and implement a new organization of work, the cooperation of the entire expert council, as well as of all the employees of KBC Split, was necessary. It has succeeded completely and all hospital staff has taken their duties seriously and they are disciplined,” says Dr. Meštrović.

The Križine Respiratory Center is organizationally prepared to receive and treat patients with the coronavirus infection.

“All patients from Krizine were transferred to Firule. Most elective procedures had to be canceled, just like controls. However, we regularly call patients by phone. In this way, they are supervised, they are advised on how to proceed, and in the event of deterioration, they are called for a review. Of course, all acute and oncology treatment services work as usual.”

Hospital staff is divided into teams. Some of the staff are on reserve so that they can fill the needs of the Respiratory Center and change teams at Firule every 7-14 days.

“The organization separated patients with suspected coronavirus infection, as well as those with respiratory tract inflammation from other patients, among whom are particularly sensitive groups of cancer patients and those with immune defects. This division minimizes the possibility of transmitting the infection among patient groups. Patients with suspected coronavirus infection go exclusively to Krizine, and patients with respiratory infections go to separate outpatients at the Pulmonary Disease Clinic and the Clinic for Pediatric Diseases,” Dr. Meštrović.

Initially, the diagnosis of the infection depended solely on testing in Zagreb, but today the testing capacities at KBC Split and the Public Health Institute (Hygienic) are large enough to test patients from the entire Split-Dalmatia County.

“The Krizine hospital is additionally renovated and equipped. Departments for the treatment of particular groups of patients have been designated, and the hospital has conditions for the most complex procedures, which include surgical procedures. The greatest burden of fighting the infection was borne by the staff of the Clinic for Infectious Diseases. However, the number of infected persons is increasing and an increasing number of patients are in other departments of the Respiratory Center. Therefore, all doctors and nurses of KBC Split are participating in the work of the Center, on a special schedule. Among patients, there are those in very serious clinical conditions; these are respiratory patients. There are currently seven in three counties in KBC and these patients are being cared for by anesthetists. The hospital has enough ventilators and other equipment to care for the most severely ill,” emphasizes the director of KBC Split.

KBC Split regularly cooperates with the Civil Protection Headquarters, the Teaching Institute for Public Health and the Health Center.

“The cooperation of county health and other services with KBC has achieved excellent coordination of work and success in reducing the spread of the infection, especially the occurrence of the most severe patients. Such a system could not function without the trust and cooperation of citizens and this cooperation is excellent,” concluded Dr. Julije Meštrović.

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