Bonn - The shortage of nurses repeatedly means that pediatric cardiac surgery departments have to postpone operations and patients end up on waiting lists. This is pointed out by the German Society for Thoracic, Cardiac and Vascular Surgery ().
“On the one hand we have the necessary high-tech medicine, but on the other hand we cannot continuously care for our patients due to staff shortages. This applies in all areas, but primarily we have too little intensive care capacity for children, ”explained Boulos Asfour from the company's board of directors. He is director of the pediatric cardiac surgery department at the University Hospital Bonn.
According to the expert, the reasons for the shortage of nurses are complex. “The service is physically demanding and demanding. Often one works beyond one's own limits. The psychological stress should not be underestimated either. In addition, the monetary appreciation of the nursing staff is not appropriate, ”he explains. Reforms are urgently needed so that the professions become more attractive again, said Asfour.
The specialist society also criticizes lack of medical products that are approved for the treatment of children. There is lack of stents, catheters, drains and biopsy forceps, but also the important special pacemakers for children are not profitable for industrial production and distribution, warns the specialist society.
In addition to the technical equipment, Asfour also sees great need for research and innovation: "We urgently need more research funding in the field of pediatric cardiac medicine," he emphasized. As an example, the pediatric cardiac surgeon names heart valves that grow with the child, new reconstruction techniques and child-friendly cardiac support systems. According to the specialist association, there are 360 clinics for pediatric and adolescent medicine nationwide, of which 67 pediatric clinics have expertise in pediatric cardiology. In addition, 166 doctors are currently working in 115 pediatric cardiology practices. According to Asfour, medical care is “very good nationwide and at stable level”.