As the COVID-19 outbreak took hold in Wuhan, CSL Behring in China sponsored a well-attended series of online learning sessions for health care workers and the public.
The company’s team in China helped present medical education programs that reached a wide-ranging audience of medical experts, physicians, pharmacists and Chinese citizens. The goal was to share medical best practices and stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.
In February and March, more than 75,000 health care professionals attended the six online forums and workshops to learn about the virus and how to treat infected patients. The digital events included specific guidance for hospital pharmacists and the management of hospital pharmacies, as well as a session for intensive care doctors about Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).
ARDS has become a top concern among physicians worldwide who are treating COVID-19 and 2,000 ICU doctors attended the virtual learning and exchange session about “The Fluid Management and Treatment of Critically Ill Patients under COVID-19.” While many people experience mild or manageable symptoms, this novel coronavirus also causes severe breathing problems, requiring assistive oxygen and ventilators when patients are critically ill.
As part of the educational effort, CSL Behring China also partnered with “Health News” to host a COVID-19 webinar on March 27 that shared treatment experience and prevention measures with the general public. The webinar, which received 610,000 views, emphasized the importance of protective measures and personal hygiene during the pandemic.
Minimizing disruption to care for patients in China
Under difficult circumstances, CSL Behring employees also took steps to minimize business disruptions and make sure plasma-derived albumin needed for critically ill patients was delivered to China, even when usual shipping routes were unavailable.
“It demonstrates our commitment to deliver on our promise to patients in all situations,” said Harold Chan, Vice President and General Manager, Commercial Operations, Greater China.
With 25,000+ employees worldwide, CSL Behring is a global biotech that develops and produces medicines for patients who have rare and chronic diseases. The company, which has been providing albumin to China for 34 years, now has 700 employees in China spread across multiple locations. They include a Wuhan manufacturing site, acquired in 2017, five plasma collection centers and five regional offices.
The mandatory lockdown has been lifted in Wuhan, though experts agree it will take continued vigilance to keep the virus at bay.
Chan credited CSL Behring’s team in China for remaining focused and finding creative solutions to maintain business operations and overcome the barriers caused by the pandemic. When usual shipping routes weren’t available, the team chartered flights to bring needed CSL Behring medicines to China from Europe.
“I am especially impressed with our team, which acted instantly and professionally,” Chan said. “They responded to the challenges arising from this crisis with successful business practices that have been well received by our customers.”