What medical fact surprised you the most

Dr. Andrea Eidenschink: Medical studies at TUM, doctoral thesis in pediatric cardiology, assistant doctor in the Augsburg Central Clinic and in the Munich Schwabing Children's Clinic at TUM. Since 2000 as a specialist in pediatric and adolescent medicine in her own practice.

 

Dr. Armin GrĂ¼bl: As a practicing pediatrician in Munich Schwabing, how did you experience the beginning of the corona pandemic, what surprised you the most?

Dr. Andrea Eidenschink: The beginning of the corona pandemic shocked me very much. I assumed that it would be just as dramatic here in Germany as it was in Italy.

The fact that there was far too little protective equipment and that it still exists was a huge burden for me. At the beginning of March, large numbers of masks were still being exported when they could no longer be bought here. At the time I couldn't imagine that you couldn't normally order masks, protective gowns or disinfectants from medical wholesalers and that these would not be delivered.

When the suggestions came about how to reuse and refurbish FFP2 masks - in the microwave or in the oven - one thing slowly became clear to me: Any German could buy a car - equipped with high-tech filters, but a protective mask for unfortunately not the work!

How do you see the current situation of the "Corona crisis" as a pediatrician? What has to be done now?

Fortunately, it is a virus that seldom makes children sick and is never as severe as it can be for adults. However, it is difficult for us paediatricians to differentiate a coronavirus infection from other infections due to the not very typical symptoms - it simply does not work clinically!

It is just as difficult for us to implement the required distance rules to our patients and parents during a medical examination. In order not to infect ourselves or our patients, we doctors urgently need sufficient protective equipment.

Wearing mouth-nose masks seems to make sense if everyone adheres to it. In order to prevent the coronavirus from spreading, you can achieve a good preventive effect with a fairly simple measure. So you should just do this when you meet other people and you cannot keep a corresponding distance.

In addition to your work in practice, you are also involved in professional and health policy. What motivates you to do this?

I always try to improve things on a small scale and to help other people. The fact that no mask requirement was introduced for a long time was due, among other things, to the lack of masks. That's why I wanted to support the clinics and practices in equipping all parents and elderly patients with masks. The professional association of paediatricians had given this recommendation in mid-March. Fortunately, I actually managed to get a donation in kind of 60,000 single-use mouth and nose protection masks, which we distributed to the children's clinics and pediatric practices in Munich with hard-working helpers. We were also able to receive and distribute thousands of fabric masks. Many thanks to everyone! The Munich Schwabing Children's Hospital Foundation is also successfully involved in donating fabric masks and distributing them as well. As a former Schwabing native, the foundation's activities for the Schwabing Children's Clinic are still close to my heart. With the TRUMA Foundation, of which I am a board member, we were happy to provide financial support for the endeavors to create a child-friendly and child-friendly interior design for the new building under construction.

Thank you very much for your great commitment! Finally, back to the Corona crisis: What do you think of the saying: "There is an opportunity in every crisis" and what do you wish for the future?

As long as too many people do not lose their lives, there is also good in this crisis. The deceleration e.g. for all people during the exit restriction and the concentration of life on the nuclear family and paying attention to how others are doing. Maybe we can build on that time a little after the pandemic. Gaining experience with home office and home schooling, as well as the resulting improved digitization in schools, are a good side effect. The intense preoccupation with the spread of viruses has highlighted the relevance of fresh and unpolluted air and hopefully gives a boost to the environmental movement.

And we were roused to the fact that the health system in Germany also has major problems - with the procurement of materials and the payment and appreciation of the nursing staff. But I really can't get much positive out of the pandemic.

My current wish is to protect the schoolchildren and adolescents at school from being infected with coronavirus in a meaningful way and to allow them to have a bit of social life again with the required distance, but at least.

I can hear another big plan on your part: Protecting students from infections and finding a way to normalcy. We will certainly continue to hear and read from you. Thank you very much for the interview and all the best to you, your family and your team!

 

A big thank you to the generous donors: MAC, Talbot and Runhof, Irene Luft, TONI, Ernstings Family, Sallinger Consult, Walt Disney, Lions Club Karl Valentin, Jack Wolfskin, HAWE Hydraulik SE.