After spending a month and a half in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, surrounded by artificial respirators, infusion pumps and monitors, Isidre Correa, a patient with Covid-19, 61, was able on May 29 to finally savor a sip of life. After perceiving improvements in his health and after giving a negative result in the PCR test, the Intensive Care team from the Barcelona center, located opposite one of the most popular beaches in the Catalan capital, proposed Isidre, within the program of humanization of ICUs which has been applied for two years, go out for fresh air in front of the sea.
His image, bedridden in a hospital bed and connected to the oxygen support, peering into the Somorrostro beach It soon circulated on networks and went viral. International media such as The Guardian or the BBC could not resist picking up the snapshot of his medicalized bed embraced by the sea breeze, a message of hope in times of anguish, fear and uncertainty.
In that first outing, his son accompanied him, as well as part of the center’s Intensive team, who were excited witnesses of the effect of that first contact of Isidre with an, still imposed, normalcy.
The experience was worth judging by his expression of overflowing happiness, explains Desireé Ruiz, head of the ICU nursing unit at Hospital del Mar, who accompanied him. “For them it’s like a breath of life, breaking the routine of the hospital. They see the light at the end of the tunnel, “says Ruiz.
It was not his only way out. On June 3 Isidre repeated and, finally, on July 2 he left the center to applause from the professionals. These therapeutic walks in front of the sea They are only part of the ICU’s humanization program that the center began two years ago and that with the outbreak of the pandemic was paralyzed. Once the pandemic tip was overcome, it reactivated.
The candidate patients for these outings, of about 20 minutes, are “those with a long stay in the ICU, who are stable and emotionally indicated that it would be beneficial for them,” says Ruiz. In addition to these outings, the plan incorporates other aspects such as the extension of family visiting hours and the “humanization” of the infrastructure with the installation of background music in some areas and the increase of spaces with natural light. The hospital has started a study aimed at demonstrating the positive effect of the program.