SCIO briefing on progress of Central Guidance Team in organizing and guiding epidemic control and medical rescue

The State Council Information Office held a press conference on March 31 in Wuhan, inviting members of the Central Guidance Team to brief the media about the progress of its work in epidemic control and medical rescue. April 2, 2020

Nihon Keizai Shimbun:

Around 500 patients, including those with both severe and critical conditions, are still in Hubei now. What is the treatment plan for them? Thank you.

Ma Xiaowei:

I would like to give this question to Ms. Jiao Yahui, the specialist from the National Health Commission.

Jiao Yahui:

Thank you for your question. Under the direct leadership of General Secretary Xi Jinping and the direction of the Central Guidance Team, Hubei province has made great progress in its medical treatment fighting COVID-19. The number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 in Hubei continues to decrease and the accumulative cure rate has reached 92%. As of March 30, the number of severe cases has dropped from its peak of over 9,000 to the current number of 493. Both severe and critical cases had the same features: They are seniors with multiple underlying health conditions. The duration of the diseases lasts for a long time, and multiple organs are harmed. Some cases have severe infections with huge difficulties in saving and treating them. So far, among the severe cases in hospital, 82 are trachea intubated, 13 are on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), 33 are receiving prone position ventilation, and 38 are undergoing continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT). In order to treat these severe patients well, we are currently undertaking the following measures:

First, we took additional measures to implement the principle that patients are classified and given concentrated treatment, quality resources are pooled and experts are called together for the virus fight. While concentrating patients with severe conditions in high-level hospitals, we also tried to transfer them to special wards managed by national medical teams to optimize medical resources and strengthen capacity for treating severe cases.

Second, we have further strengthened life support and multi-organ support. Most of the severe and critically ill patients have multiple organ impairment. Apart from the lungs, they may also suffer from damage to other organs, such as the heart, kidneys, and the liver, as well as problems with their immune and circulatory systems. While applying ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), invasive ventilation, prone position ventilation, and CRRT (continuous renal replacement therapy), we have also provided nutritional support to improve their immunity and circulation. Various other measures have also been taken to strengthen life support.

Third, we strengthened disease monitoring and patient care. For critically ill patients whose conditions keep changing, we have enhanced holistic care and looked closely at disease progression. For patients treated with ECMO, endotracheal intubation, prone position ventilation, and CRRT, we have strengthened special care. Meanwhile, we have also enhanced basic care, which, together with special care, plays a vital role in improving treatment efficacy.

Fourth, we upgraded the expert inspection system by sending national experts to stay at hospitals. We dispatched national experts to designated hospitals that receive severe and critically ill patients so that they can work with the experts of those hospitals in the treatment and rescue of patients. In particular, they can work together to develop a personalized treatment plan for each patient.

Fifth, we established a case discussion system. We organize daily case discussions where military medical and civilian experts across the country make an in-depth analysis of their treatment. At this point, the recovery rate of severe and critically ill patients has increased from 14% to 88%. Since the beginning of March, 100 to 150 severe cases have turned into mild cases each day. Thank you.

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