West Tallinn Central Hospital part-resumes scheduled treatments

West Tallinn Central Hospital on Paldiski Maantee in Tallinn.
West Tallinn Central Hospital on Paldiski Maantee in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

West Tallinn Central Hospital (Lääne-Tallinna keskhaigla) is resuming scheduled treatment on a gradual basis, following the end of the emergency situation sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. The hospital saw nearly 50 cases of COVID-19 shared equally between staff and patients, between late March and early May, which meant its management came under the supervision of the state Health Board (Tervisemet).

As we are still in the process of being supervised by the Health Board within the hospital, then we are not yet permitted to provide scheduled treatment in the Seamen's Polyclinic (Meremeeste korpus) and the infection clinic (which currently houses some COVID-19-positive patients-ed.)," said Imbi Moks, medical manager and board chair at the hospital.

"However, the hospital also boasts a number of health centers where we can provide outpatient reception and examinations," she went on.

The hospital additionally prefer a remote-based reception, it says.
All those admitted to the hospital will be tested for COVID-19 and segregated till the test results are known, except in urgent cases.

To do this, we have a special department where the patient stays until the result of their COVID test is known. There have been cases where the COVID test is not yet available but the patient needs urgent treatment. Surgeons have had to operate on some patients in this situation. These patients have turned out to be negative afterwards," Moks went on.

However, there has been at least one case where a patient came to the hospital and gave a negative test, only to test COVID-19-positive on the third day, meaning they presumably contracted the virus within the hospital.

"We don't test all the patients in the hospital every day. We test when they first arrive at the hospital," Moks added.

From mid-March to the beginning of May, 24 West Tallinn Central Hospital employees got infected with the coronavirus, and exactly the same number of hospitalized patients also contracted the virus.

As a result, the Health Board started its supervision, and recommended postponing the start of planned treatments. 

The Health Board is also currently investigating the in-hospital virus outbreak over March and April, and has made its own recommendations.

"The Health Board has not yet made any decisions and has drawn attention to the correct use of personal protective equipment. This is crucial," said Moks.

No ward at the hospital is currently under quarantine, though there are still coronavirus patients housed in the infection clinic.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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