Friday, 6 May 2022

Dubrava Hospital Doctors Perform Surgery Never Done Before in Croatia

May the 6th, 2022 - Dubrava Hospital doctors have performed a form of surgery that has never been done before in the Republic of Croatia, highlighting (once again) the incredible medics this country can boast of, and just how much they deal with and succeed in even within the constraints of a severely strained and underfunded healthcare system.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, for the first time ever in Croatia, an operation was performed by Dubrava Hospital doctors in order to reconstruct both feet. A team from Dubrava Hospital enabled a migrant from Gambia to take a new step (quite literally) in life after his toes were amputated due to suffering from severe frostbite, RTL writes.

After four surgeries and two months spent recovering and being treated in the hospital, Eddie Manga is now recovering exceptionally well. He has also learned a few words of Croatian, and now everyone is waiting for him to take his very first steps.

Manga is a nineteen-year-old Gambian who has has his life torn apart since his foot amputation. He set off for Europe with three Afghans, and together they reached neighbouring Serbia.

"They just left me. I was alone in the "jungle", I kept on walking without any food and water. I have had these frozen feet ever since. I walked and walked and walked. On the way I heard cars, I heard traffic. I was close to the road, but I didn't know where I was,'' said Eddie Manga, the Dubrava Hospital patient who will now be able to get his life well and truly back on track thanks to the team of doctors who gave him their all.

Someone eventually caught sight of the young man, wandering around hungry, thirsty, exhausted and somewhat dazed, called the police and then the ambulance arrived. He ended up in the hospital with severe frostbite, which is now thankfully a period of his life he can put firmly in the past.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Dubrava Hospital Receives 3.8 Million Kuna Gas Bill as Prices Soar

February the 2nd, 2022 - The increase in fuel and gas prices has been a topic on the lips of many across Croatia for several weeks now. With the government having stepped in previously to cap the rapidly rising prices of fuel in order to keep drivers happy, now the situation with gas is becoming an enormous issue. Zagreb's Dubrava hospital (KB Dubrava), which has become synonymous with coronavirus after having been declared the ''covid hospital'' back in 2020, recently received a gas bill totalling an eye-watering 3.8 million kuna.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, after companies headquartered here in the capital were shocked by their own gas bill totals, the shock then made its way to the City of Zagreb's state-owned hospitals. The gas bill for the last two winter months is higher than the bill for the whole of 2020. A solution to this unsustainable issue is, worryingly, not yet in sight.

Heating and air conditioning for 68 thousand square metres, steam sterilisation, cooking and so on is bound to add up, especially given the fact that the boiler room of the Dubrava hospital is the largest hospital boiler room in all of the Republic of Croatia. This hospital's gas bill for December quite rightly sent them into a state of shock and disbelief.

"Last year we paid 800,000 kuna for the gas bill covering the same amount of space, and this year we paid 3,800,000 kuna for a slightly lower consumption per cubic metre,'' Elkaz Cehajic, head of the technical affairs department at the Dubrava hospital, told HRT.

That is 73 percent of the bills they paid for the whole of pandemic-dominated 2020. Another Zagreb hospital, KB Merkur, has had to face the same problem. Back in December 2020, they paid a 178 thousand kuna bill for gas, just one year later, that same gas bill stands at 740 thousand kuna.

At the Sveti Duh hospital, they are currently resisting high energy bills because they are heating the premises through the heating plant. Gas is used for cooking and burners in the laboratory, and there was no increase.

“Our owner and founder, ie the City of Zagreb, agreed on our behalf for a fixed price for gas, ie a price per unit volume. We're actually protected by that contract, as are a number of other companies owned by the City of Zagreb,'' said Ana-Maria Simundic, the director of KB Sveti Duh.

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Saturday, 22 January 2022

Prof Bruno Barsic of KB Dubrava: Only Two Measures Make Any Sense

January the 22nd, 2022 - The director of the covid ward of KB Dubrava in Zagreb, Prof Bruno Barsic has stated that with the emergence of the highly infectious but far milder variant of the novel coronavirus, Omicron, only two measures make any sense. The rest are quite pointless.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Prof Bruno Barsic of Dubrava Hospital's covid ward pointed out to Index that because of the Omicron variant, we have a large number of infected people, but the pressure on hospitals isn't what it was. He stressed that Omicron patients aren't putting any pressure on the hospital and hoped that it would remain like that.

From Thursday the 27th of January, wearing masks in the United Kingdom will no longer be mandatory, working from home will no longer be officially recommended, and covid certificates (NHS covid passes) will no longer be required to enter nightclubs and partake in certain larger gatherings, according British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was recently busted for having parties during the harsh UK lockdown and is being pressured to step down.

The abolition of covid certificates is also being seriously considered in Israel, where Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman has risen up against their continued use. He said that they have no health purposes and that they contribute to creating even more issues and panic.

Cyrille Cohen, one of the Israeli government's vaccination advisers and head of the immunology department at Bar Ilan University, told UnHerd yesterday that covid certificates had become "irrelevant" now Omicron is dominant, and that he expected them to be abolished soon.

“When it comes to the Omicron variant, we don’t see virtually any difference between the vaccinated and unvaccinated, and both can become infected by it more or less equally,” he said.

"That's logical. It's going in that direction. If you have 50 percent of those tested returning a positive result, then what's the use of testing? It seems logical to me that we are going in that direction in this country as well,'' said Prof Bruno Barsic.

He also commented on other epidemiological measures that are in force in this country and pointed out which ones he would drop if he was in charge. "Of all the measures, I would keep those that limit mass gatherings and wearing masks. So far, masks are very important because we can see how rapidly and easily Omicron spreads and infects people,'' he said.

Prof Bruno Barsic also stated that the elderly population still needs to be vaccinated.

"And that's it. It seems to me that the need for less measures is slowly emerging. But I'm not an expert in epidemiology, so I'd leave it to those who are to make those decisions,'' concluded Prof Bruno Barsic.

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Friday, 6 August 2021

KB Dubrava Emergency Room Opens After 288 Days of Being Covid Hospital

August the 6th, 2021 - After a long, hard 288 day slog of being used solely as a covid hospital, the Zagreb KB Dubrava emergency room is now open for all patients once again, with just four covid patients with severe clinical pictures currently being treated there at the time of writing.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, as of yesterday, after almost one entire year of caring for only covid patients with severe clinical pictures, the KB Dubrava emergency room has been reopened for all patients in the Eastern part of the City of Zagreb and the surrounding areas. The move marks a significant point in Croatia's own battle with the pandemic.

The currently much more favourable epidemiological situation across the Republic of Croatia and in Zagreb itself, and the reduction in the number of covid patients in hospital, enabled the KB Dubrava emergency room to finally open its doors and offer its medical services to all other patients in the Eastern part of the Croatian capital and beyond.

There are about 350 thousand such patients, and on average about 56 thousand examinations, 11 thousand emergency hospitalisations and more than three thousand emergency surgeries are performed in KB Dubrava.

"Everything is absolutely ready for the reception of patients with other issues. The enrollment of patients is at the counter where the administrative part is resolved, after that the patient goes to the triage itself where the category of urgency of the patient's admission is determined,'' said KB Dubrava's Sanja Kristo in conversation with RTL.

As stated, there are currently only four covid patients being treated for severe issues due to coronavirus infection at KB Dubrava (at the time of writing this article), and the hospital hopes that as autumn approaches, things won't take a turn for the worse again and turn the hospital back into a covid hospital housing hundreds of extremely unwell patients.

"KBC Zagreb, our largest institution, has formed its own covid department, they have their own intensive care unit, so I believe that a calmer autumn awaits us with more regular work," said the hospital's director Ivica Luksic. He added that he hopes there will be no need to go through what they went through again last year.

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Sunday, 6 June 2021

Zagreb’s Hospital, Repurposed into COVID Clinic, to Get Back to Its Usual Business

ZAGREB, 6 June, 2021 - The clinical hospital Dubrava in the eastern part of the Croatian capital city, which was repurposed into the main hospital for treating COVID patients in the country during the pandemic, will resume its regular services as of Monday.

Doctor Jurica Maraković of the KB Dubrava hospital told the national broadcaster (HRT) on Sunday, that after treating only COVID patients for 217 days, the hospital would get back to its usual business as of Monday.

KB Dubrava's inpatient units and outpatient clinics are supposed to reopen their doors to patients.

Appointments for 300 non-COVID patients have been scheduled to Monday only.

Also, the hospital continues treating COVID patients and currently there are 110 patients hospitalised there. Of them 23 are placed on ventilators.

The reopening of all departments of the KB Dubrava ensues after Croatia started registering a decline in new coronavirus numbers and improvement in the epidemiological situation.

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Saturday, 5 December 2020

KB Dubrava Doctor: "We've Never Seen a Course of Disease Like This"

December the 5th, 2020 - A KB Dubrava doctor, Bruno Barsic, has described the ongoing situation at KB Dubrava, now known rather ominously as Zagreb's COVID hospital, and how those working there have never seen a disease take such a course before.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Bruno Barsic, a KB Dubrava doctor, spoke for RTL Direkt about why healthy, young non-smokers are ending up in hospital needing oxygen and about other topics related to the spread of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.

When asked what was happening on the tenth, eleventh or fourteenth day of this particular illness and why people's condition was deteriorating so abruptly, he said:

''Because this is the natural course the disease takes in what is, fortunately, a small percentage of patients. There are a lot of infected people, so then that percentage of course becomes higher. The course of the disease goes so that it begins as a flu-like stage. After about 5-6 days, you see the first stage of the worsening of the condition, and then it becomes pneumonia, oxygen is then required. For those who need 14, 15 litres of oxygen from the beginning, it's impossible for oxygen to enter the blood. The next stage of it growing yet worse in some patients is lung damage. The blood vessels dilate, then people's lung function worsens," he said.

He said the disease leaves long-lasting changes in the lungs. When asked if we are smarter now and if we know why young people get sick, he says:

"We aren't smarter now to know why this happens to young people. Maybe it's the amount of virus they've taken in. If you receive a smaller amount of the virus, you'll probably have a milder clinical picture. That's why there are masks to protect us. We haven't seen a disease take this sort of course before. We saw swine flu, that was also a new disease for us. But we haven't seen such long-term changes occur in the lungs, nor have we seen these consequences with which we don't know how long-term they're going to be,'' he says.

To the conclusion that treatment for SARS-CoV-2 lasts a very long time, he said:

''That all depends on the patient. Some people can go home in a couple of days, some need over 20 days. When it comes to drugs, we’re not much smarter. The drug we're talking about isn't particularly effective. Now there's a growing need for inhibitors," the KB Dubrava doctor concluded.

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Friday, 30 October 2020

Medical Staff Protest Plan to Convert Zagreb's KB Dubrava into COVID Hospital

ZAGREB, October 30, 2020 - Doctors and nurses at Zagreb's KB Dubrava hospital held a protest rally on Friday because the hospital would be fully converted into an institution for the treatment of COVID positive patients.

Ivana Suton, the representative of the Nurses' Union at the hospital, said that the protest was not organised by any of the unions but by staff gathering spontaneously to express their discontent over the difficult situation considering the large influx of patients and the shortage of staff.

The protesters were also addressed by Silvio Basic, the new chairman of the hospital's management board and state secretary at the Ministry of Health. He said later that the protesters had drawn his attention to the problems troubling them, such as care for their own health and the health of patients, and the lack of information.

Basic said that all 80 or so patients not suffering from COVID would be transferred to other hospitals across the city so that KB Dubrava could become a COVID hospital when necessary, which would depend on the number of new cases.

Responding to a reporter's remark that this was precisely why the staff were protesting, because they did not want the hospital to become a COVID institution, Basic said he sympathised with them. "We are seeing this disease for the first time, no one is trained to treat it and, of course, people are scared. But we must be aware as medical workers that we have taken on this risk."

Basic said that efforts were being made to ensure the sufficient number of staff. "Five anaesthesiologists have arrived today, and four more pulmonologists are coming in the afternoon. More nurses are also coming. This is a dynamic process," he said, adding that the hospital had enough ventilators.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Two Dubrava Zagreb Hospital Doctors Have Coronavirus, Minister Reveals Details

As Index writes on the 15th of March, 2020, it has been confirmed to the aforementioned publication that two KB Dubrava doctors have coronavirus. 

Croatian Prime Minister Plenkovic and Health Minister Beros addressed the public following a cabinet meeting.

"I can now confirm to you that there are two positive patients at KB Dubrava. The situation will continue to be kept under control. We have plans where we envisaged KB Dubrava to be the main centre. It's good that what happened at KB Dubrava has now accelerated our plans, even though we do have another centre,'' the minister said.

He said that those infected at that hospital had been in contact with other infected people.

"Plans have been in place for over two months now, all directors have been notified of the need to admit these patients. We're moving into emergency mode. Hospitals can accept patients from KB Dubrava. We're ready for a higher level. We also have more phases, a fourth and a fifth,'' the minister assured.

The Minister added that the level of defense would be raised to a higher level and that we are now on the threshold of that.

"We will adapt the system. The enemy is small and invisible, but I believe we're going to find an answer to it," the minister added.

The minister added that the level of defense would be raised to a higher level and that Croatia is now on the threshold of that. "We're discussing quarantine, let's deal with that accordingly. We're choosing activation measures. We have the answer to everything, everything in its own time," he said when asked if Croatia was now on the path of complete quarantine.

In Croatia, 49 people have tested positive for coronavirus. These include the aforementioned KB Dubrava doctors.

Make sure to follow our dedicated section for more on coronavirus in Croatia.

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Croatian Boy Walks After Successful Brain Implant at Dubrava Clinic

The neurosurgery team at Dubrava Clinical Hospital has achieved another success. A 10-year-old Croatian boy from Dalmatia, who was paralyzed due to a rare disease, has received a deep brain stimulator implant. Just three months after surgery, the boy is walking.

After a five-year search, the parents of the 10-year-old boy finally learned about his diagnosis. A rare disease, dystonia, is a condition in which the brain has no control over muscular activity and was the cause of all their son's problems. They sought help from Professor Chudy at KB Dubrava (Dubrava Clinical Hospital), according to Ruža Ištuk/Dnevnik/HRT on January 8, 2020.

Their son underwent surgery three months ago, and they say that the results are amazing. The boy is speaking more clearly, sits without help, can control his movements and walk.

“I feel wonderful. It's like a new birthday for me. I don't know how to describe the feeling as a parent. It's a big deal to have a child who has a (medical) problem, and then everything gets better. It’s phenomenal, said the boy's parent.


Professor Darko Chudy, head of the Department of Neurosurgery at KB Dubrava, said he expects the boy to become independent and to have the same life opportunities as other boys.

"This stimulator works like a trigger which enables muscles to follow orders," Chudy explained.


“There’s no better feeling. It motivates you to keep going and become even better at what we do so that our patients are happy and satisfied, said Fadi Almahariq, neurosurgeon at KB Dubrava.


Veronica Paradžhik, the boy's physical therapist, is also delighted as the improvements are becoming increasingly visible.

"It was only after the stimulator was installed that physical therapy sessions began to show results," Paradžhik revealed.

The boy is now undergoing spa therapy and his condition is expected to further improve.


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