The senior doctor revealed there is a shortage of protective equipment and medical staff are not being tested unless they show symptoms, meaning he fears he’s become a “silent killer” passing on the virus. He warned NHS intensive care units are being overrun, and warned a lack of resources means doctors could end up deciding who lives and who dies as is the case in Italy.
Writing for the Mail on Sunday the doctor said: “Despite restructuring the wards to ensure there was room for the coronavirus sufferers and that they would be totally isolated, it soon became apparent that the virus was already rampaging throughout the hospital.
“I lost count of the number of times I have found sufferers in different wards.
“Any hope we’d had of keeping Covid-19 sufferers separate from the rest of our patients became almost totally blurred as the influx just became greater, and greater, and greater.”
The doctor revealed he fears he’s already carrying coronavirus and could be passing it on to other patients.
“I lost count of the number of times I have found sufferers in different wards”
Boris Johnson has urged people not to visit elderly relatives on Mother’s Day
He wrote: “Absurdly, I have not been afforded a test – and the NHS’s approach for staff is that until you have symptoms you don’t self-isolate.
“Why? Because we simply do not have enough staff for them to be disappearing before symptoms appear, regardless of whether they are likely carrying it or not.
“As a doctor you should be saving lives. But for the first time in my career I have to face the fear that as a doctor I could be a silent killer.”
The number of UK coronavirus deaths surged to 233 on Saturday, with over 5,000 recorded cases.
The number of UK coronavirus deaths surged to 233 on Saturday
On Saturday night Boris Johnson warned the NHS faces being “overwhelmed” unless people begin social distancing urgently.
He urged Britons not to visit their mothers on Mother’s Day, as this could spread the virus further.
Writing in the Mail the doctor revealed some coronavirus sufferers were impossible to treat.
He noted: “Towards the end of last week, it became apparent that there is very little we can do to halt the spread of this aggressive and unrelenting virus.
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“No doctor should be forced to choose between patients. But we now have no other choice”
“We must now make ethical decisions on who to save and who to let die”
“Many patients simply do not respond to treatment and oxygen masks and we are left with no choice but to make them ‘comfortable’.
“Even with morphine and the sedative midazolam to help numb pain and ease breathing, the deaths have been excruciating.
“That is why I wish that I could forget last week, pretend it is some nightmare. But it isn’t. It is now our new reality.”
Italy recorded nearly 800 coronavirus deaths on Saturday taking the country’s total to 4,825.
London is the epicentre of the UK’s outbreak with more cases than any other region.
Sadiq Khan, the city’s Mayor, has urged Londoners to remain in their homes as much as possible.
The doctor also said a lack of resources is forcing medical professionals to choose which cases to prioritise.
He stated: “We must now make ethical decisions on who to save and who to let die on a scale that no doctor alive today has ever faced.
The number of UK coronavirus cases are increasing rapidly
“I would love to say that those ethical decisions are made with time, patience, and care. But last week? It was as quick as can be.
“No doctor should be forced to choose between patients. But we now have no other choice.
“It is never an easy task to tell someone’s loved one their mother, father, wife or husband is not a candidate to go to intensive care because they have serious underlying health issues and, because of their old age, there is nothing we can do.”
Published at Sun, 22 Mar 2020 01:57:00 +0000