Being the first in Spain, Léon Hospital implements suPAR in clinical routine in time to facing the COVID-19 outbreak

Fri Jun 26 2020

By: Julio Ajenjo García, ViroGates

Saul Escudero Alvarez

The Complejo Asistencial Universitario de León (León Hospital), a 1056-bed university hospital in Spain’s Castilla y León region, led the country in integrating suPAR into its Emergency Department (ED) triage system in mid-April. Aimed at identifying patients suitable for discharge, the initiative sought to minimize unnecessary admissions and associated costs. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the hospital quickly adopted suPAR for triaging suspected COVID-19 cases, striving to efficiently allocate resources.

Three weeks post-implementation, León Hospital continues to tackle a surge in COVID-19 cases. The delay in seeking medical help has led to an increase in severely ill patients arriving at the ED. Dr. Saúl Escudero Alvarez, Head of ED, and Dra. Isabel Fernández Natal, Head of Core Lab, both pivotal in suPAR’s adoption, shared insights on the pandemic’s impact and the experience of being pioneers in suPAR utilization.

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, León Hospital had to reorganize its ED and hospital operations significantly due to a spike in suspected cases. Currently, efforts are underway to normalize operations while remaining vigilant for potential case surges.

The emergency staff, despite facing physical and emotional challenges, remains committed to combating COVID-19. Thankfully, no staff member has fallen critically ill. The hospital continues to meet clinical demands, albeit with challenges.

“The emergency personnel is well. We have the strength to continue fighting against the COVID-19 disease, although physical and, above all, emotional exhaustion has left a mark in all of us.”

Drs. Escuerdo Alvarez and Fernández Natal,
Head of ED and Head of Core Lab, Complejo Asistencial Universitario de León, Spain
suPAR News Vol. 3, June 2020

Patient classification for suspected COVID-19 infection is currently clinical, relying on vital signs and symptoms alongside computerized triage (SET). While data collection is ongoing, Drs. Escudero Alvarez and Fernández Natal are optimistic about suPAR’s future role in decision-making for admitting or discharging acute care patients.

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