Premier Alan Winde published this on hies Facebook page about a very successful treatment at Groote Schuur.

Successful High-Flow Nasal Oxygen Treatment at Groote Schuur Hospital sees five patients discharged from ICU on one day.

Monday (6 July) was a joyous occasion for Groote Schuur Hospital staff working a high care Covid-19 ward as they were able to successfully discharge five patients from critical care and ICU wards to normal wards after they were treated on the high – flow nasal oxygen (HFNO) machines.
By being able to take five patients off HFNO machines on one day is extraordinary, and a truly remarkable achievement for the dedicated staff working in the unit.

Ventilators were used as one of the main treatments for critical care COVID-19 patients during the initial phases of the global pandemic, but the Western Cape Government implemented HFNO treatment at its tertiary hospitals. The HFNO machine is a device which can deliver concentrated oxygen to a patient’s lungs, via long tubes which sit just below the patient’s nostrils. This decreases the work of breathing and makes sure that the body gets enough oxygen even though there is lung inflammation.

Dr Shrikant Peters, Medical Manager: ICU and Dr Laurene Booyens, Medical Manager: Medicine had the following to say on the success of the HFNO at Groote Schuur Hospital. “Over a period of three months around a third of patients recover without requiring intubation, which is a significantly positive outcome compared to settings where no high-flow nasal oxygen treatment is offered obviously not all patients require this modality. Most do not require such high volumes and concentrations of oxygen. The results are continuously reassessed as time progresses and our insight into Covid-19 management grows further.”

Mr Ivan Cummings (56) from Grassy Park, and Mr Shahied Fischer (56) from Hanover Park, were two of the five patients who came off the HFNO machine on Monday. Mr Shahied Fischer who is a taxi driver is very thankful to be alive after having been on the HFNO machine for eight days. When I came into Groote Schuur Hospital on Monday 29 June 2020 I could not breathe, I thought this was the end [and that] I was not going to make it. But this hospital is awesome, the staff have helped me to fight this battle and live again. Covid-19 has helped me appreciate essential workers and the difference they are making to help us patients survive.”

Nurses in the ward were celebrating their success on the day. Sister Tofile and Sister Ndinga are two of the heroes who work in this ward. “We are ecstatic that we had five patients able to come off the machines in one day. It is not easy seeing all the suffering that our patients have to go through. Days like today make us feel happy because it shows that our hard work is showing results.”

Covid-19 numbers are still increasing and it is important that we continue to stay safe. The message from Mr Shahied Fischer stresses the importance of adopting safety habits. “I was one of the people who did not take Covid-19 serious, I was not adhering to the guidelines that was given to us. I almost died but thanks to Groote Schuur Hospital, I was able to survive. You might not be as lucky as I am, so please adhere to the guidelines.”

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