How a nurse struggles for recognition


Berlin – The next day she could not come up with a medical term. It has been happening to her more often for some time. Even now, a 58-year-old woman doesn’t miss a word when she talks about this moment of confusion in resuscitation, in her workplace.

The nurse had to supervise two patients and wanted to call someone to a colleague, a term she didn’t think of again. “In situations like this, I almost believe I’m stupid,” says Martina Günther, whose real name is different. However, as she struggles to get her occupational disease certified, this is an unfinished case, so she wants to remain anonymous.

Günther suffers from the effects of post-Covido, a late infection with the Sars-CoV-2 virus. She admitted the patient to the intensive care unit. Similarly, thousands of people have been infected at work in Germany since the start of the pandemic in 2020. in the spring. “Cases that have so far been recognized as occupational diseases come almost exclusively from the health service and home area,” said Heinfried Tintner, president of the North Rhine-Westphalia State Social Court.

She waited two years for recognition

The medical doctor relies on numbers from German statutory accident insurance (DGUV). According to it, there were about 226,000 reports of so-called suspected occupational diseases last year, of which about 216,000 had Covid-19. More than 130,000 of the almost 180,000 applications received were approved. This corresponds to 74 percent.

In contrast, in 2019, the year before the Corona, there were only 80,000 cases of suspected occupational disease nationwide and only 44 percent. Even fewer infections have been reported as accidents at work. There have been about 13,500 of them since the start of the pandemic.

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An invisible wave is moving towards a community of solidarity in Germany. This will pose major challenges for social security systems. It is not known with what strength he will accumulate, but the case of intensive care nurse Martin Günther clearly shows that society will be busy for a long time after Covido.

Günther waited two years for her illness to be recognized for her work. The responsible professional association for health care and care (BGW) is asking for patience again and again, constantly asking for new medical documents, checks and inspections.

Suffering from the Corona for a long time

Long Covidas is a general term describing the long – term consequences of a coronary infection, followed by a secondary form after COVID. The World Health Organization (WHO) introduced them in October 2021.

After COVID many physical, cognitive, and psychological symptoms can occur. In particular, people over the age of 60 are affected, often men after a severe infection. In addition, by the age of 60, two-thirds of women, after mild to moderate severity.

However, the intensive care nurse can no longer wait. “I need at least one rehabilitation that pays for me,” she says. Martina Günther continues to work in three shifts, although it is extremely difficult for her. She has been working for 30 years, it is her passion, but above all her livelihood. “I have to make a living from something,” she says.

After office, she played gym

She became infected with the second wave. It was 2020. October month. There were no protective clothing, and hospitals kept locked small materials as expensive drugs. That day, Martina worked in an isolated area for three hours without a break, she was sweating. “We are constantly short of staff,” she says. Her breathing mask, completely soaked, is no longer protected from the virus at some point.

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Severe chest pressure was the first symptom to persist to this day. When she tries, it involves that depressing feeling, and it’s not uncommon. “I used to be a very sporty woman. As soon as I had the opportunity, I cycled all the routes. We went to the gym after work, ”she says. “Today, after an early shift, I can no longer be used to anything and can only lie on the couch. She cannot resist depression, exacerbations.

The people in charge at her hospital help her wherever she can. During the acute phase of the infection, Günther was supervised by a senior doctor in the intensive care unit. For two weeks, the nurse lay in bed, almost always on her stomach, at home. She was on sick leave for four weeks. “I didn’t want to be …

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