Over the course of the spring, 42 employees and 32 patients were diagnosed with a coronavirus infection at Suursuo Hospital. The last employee and patient isolation measures were dismantled in early June.
The majority of the infected patients were likely to have contracted the coronavirus at the hospital. Among the infected patients, there were 16 deaths. Many of them were in the last stages of a severe illness. Infections were found in five hospital wards.
“As far as the patients go, we know that some of the infected had contracted the virus before coming to the hospital. The infections came from several different sources,” says Chief Physician Sanna Isosomppi from the City of Helsinki’s Epidemiologic Operations Unit.
The majority of the infected employees were nurses. Other employees were also diagnosed with infections.
“The source of the staff members’ infections could not be determined with certainty in most cases. There were multiple sources of infection,” Isosomppi continues.
The epidemic was brought under control through testing and intensified protection
Employees were tested extensively in order to mitigate the epidemic. A total of 122 coronavirus tests were taken in the screening. 12 employees were diagnosed with infections.
The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare’s (THL) and HUS’s coronavirus pandemic protection guidelines were followed at Suursuo Hospital. Protection measures were further tightened in response to the outbreak at the hospital. Hospital staff started wearing surgical masks in the treatment of all patients, including asymptomatic ones, and during contacts between staff members. Precautions against droplet and contact transmission were also taken in the wards in which the coronavirus infections were found.
“In the epidemic situation, carrying out early and extensive staff screenings and raising the protection level were key measures with which the epidemic was brought under control,” Isosomppi emphasises.
Suursuo Hospital has eight wards and a total of 200 beds. The hospital has terminal and palliative care, acute geriatric care, rehabilitation and substance addiction wards.
Picture: Virpi Vellin