This is how the Covid-19 Unit at the Citibanamex Center saved the lives of patients during the pandemic

  • This unit has one of the lowest mortalities of patients intubated by Covid-19.
  • His early attention to cases with comorbidities is part of his success.
  • To operate this unit, academia, private initiative and the government joined forces.

Although Mexico is one of the countries most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic – the third in the world with the most deaths – a small light is beginning to be seen in the midst of this chaos. It is about the decrease in cases and the good management of the Temporary Covid-19 Unit at the Citibanamex Center. 

There, timely care achieves low mortality, even for the most seriously ill patients. An investigation by Business Insider Mexico found that the mortality of intubated patients in that unit is among the lowest among public and private hospitals.

The mortality of those intubated by Covid-19 in the Temporary Unit of the Citibanamex Center was 14%, according to data available until February 16 from the Base of the National Epidemiological Surveillance System of CDMX. Meanwhile, other hospitals with a low mortality rate are: 

  • Hospital ABC, 10%
  • Hospital Ángeles del Pedregal, 11%.
  • South Medical, 29%
  • National Hospital for Respiratory Diseases, 50%

According to data shared by Rafael Valdez, director of the Covid-19 Temporary Unit of the Citibanamex Center, they indicate that general mortality is even lower, only 3% at the end of February.

“Under the early hospitalization program, we have treated 7,354 patients. Of these, about 6,600 graduated. At this moment we have about 550 hospitalized patients. And in intensive care, little more than 600 patients have been treated. Our global mortality is 3.1%, and the mortality of our intensive care is around 18% ”, explained Valdez.

This is how the Temporary Covid-19 Unit of the Citibanamex Center operates to reduce mortality

Its good practices are divided into three major actions that allow the survival of patients. 

La CONAMED, visita la Unidad temporal COVID 19 en el Centro Banamex |  Comisión Nacional de Arbitraje Médico | Gobierno |

1. Anticipated hospitalization

Contrary to what was indicated at the federal level about the disease, that hospitals should only be visited if the symptoms of Covid-19 were severe, this unit treats patients in a timely manner.

“We saw that there were many opportunities that were being lost in attention. We had evidence that there were therapeutic interventions that could modify the course of the disease, ”Valdez said. Therefore, they began to receive patients with their first symptoms.

2. Timely administration of oxygen and medications

Also, due to the rapid progression of the pandemic in the country, the use of oxygen was left to the most serious patients. However, its prompt administration helps prevent the patient from deteriorating.

In addition, Valdez indicated that corticosteroids or dexamethasone are administered to patients who require it in a timely manner. “We have scientific information that supports the use of this drug to stop the inflammatory process,” he said.

Even administering preventive blood thinners is part of your strategy to prevent small blood clots from forming. These result in complications of the disease.

3. Surveillance of comorbidities

The medical staff of this unit is aware of the comorbidities of each patient. In fact, it is other chronic diseases – such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension – that complicate the Covid-19 pictures.

“Something that we add to our treatment strategies is the strict and precise control of comorbidities. We knew that people with diabetes, hypertension, or those who had a disease that was not under control were at greater risk of progression to severity, “said the director.

Fortunately, fewer and fewer patients arrive at this unit, after the spikes in infections in October, December, and January. “Around mid-January was when we had the maximum hospital occupancy. On January 25 we had — in one week — 364 admissions, ”he said.

4 keys to the success of the Covid-19 Temporary Unit of the Citibanamex Center

All efforts in this unit to provide timely care to patients and prevent disease progression would not be possible without four components. Valdez highlighted that the strength of the Covid-19 Temporary Unit of the Citibanamex Center is due to the support of:

  • Private initiative: Walmart México y Centroamérica, Bimbo, Citibanamex, Coca Cola FEMSA, Grupo Infra, Barcel, HSBC, Takeda, CIE and Codere.
  • Foundations: Carlos Slim, Telmex-Telcel, Alfredo Harp Helú, Sertull, Mexico Coca Cola and Inbursa.
  • Government of Mexico City
  • UNAM and the national institutes of health

In addition, Valdez highlighted the participation of 3,000 workers, both doctors, and nurses as well as orderlies, quartermaster, food, and maintenance personnel.

La CONAMED, visita la Unidad temporal COVID 19 en el Centro Banamex |  Comisión Nacional de Arbitraje Médico | Gobierno |

The Covid-19 Temporary Unit of the Citibanamex Center is a special case, but it can be replicated

The design of this unit is something that also allows for better care. “The rate of an intubated patient to die is very high; the index to be left with sequels as well. The advantage of this center is that it is exactly designed to attend to emergencies starting from scratch ”, said Víctor Huggo Córdoba Pluma, general director of the Neurometrics Clinic.

Córdoba added that although the hospitals of the ISSSTE and IMSS systems are also making an effort, the pandemic has overtaken us in many aspects.

“Many public sector institutions are on the go replacing their fans, it is not easy. There came a time worldwide when the fans were over. They managed to equip this unit with the type of ventilators that are needed for a disease like this or similar ones ”, highlighted Córdoba.

So far, this unit accumulates an investment of 1,226 million pesos for the care of Covid-19 patients. According to data that the Carlos Slim Foundation shared with Business Insider Mexico, 626 patients can be treated there.

In addition, the intensive therapy room has a capacity of 64 beds; They have a 16-slice tomograph to facilitate diagnosis. Also, it has 18 post-intensive therapy beds with monitors and ventilators.

It even has 80 beds with high-flow nasal tips. This equipment is used to provide oxygen for the most delicate cases. And it has 102 beds with oxygen.

The cooperation of academia, government, and private initiative are what makes this unit so special. Its highly trained staff and timely care are your opportunities in the face of the pandemic.


The Mexico City Post