NHS workers give a stark account of the reality of coronavirus pandemic
News | Rhys Williams | Published: 13:41, Friday April 10th, 2020.
Last updated: 13:45, Friday April 10th, 2020
Hospital staff have given a stark account of the horrors of coronavirus, with the number of confirmed cases in Gwent reaching 1,221.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, intensive care consultant Dr Ami Jones talked about how the intensive care unit at the Royal Gwent Hospital was filled with “mainly young people”, many in their thirties or forties.
Dr Jones said there are people who “don’t appreciate how bad this virus is.
“It takes no prisoners. It’s very, very contagious and very easy to catch.
“It’s a lottery really – you may think you’re young, fit and well and it won’t affect you, but I’ve got young, fit and well patients in my ITU that are probably going to die, and you don’t know it’s not going to be you, so why are you taking the risk?
“Why aren’t you just doing the safest thing and staying at home?”
Dr Jones also said that half of patients in intensive care wouldn’t be able to be saved.
“They are dying with the nurses holding their hands.”
Due to the pandemic, the health board has banned nearly all hospital visitors , with coronavirus patients unable to see loved ones while in hospital.
Dr David Hepburn, a critical care consultant at the Royal Gwent, warned that if there isn’t a slowing down in the infection rate, “we are going to start running out of space, and that’s when very difficult decisions will have to be made. I hope to God I don’t have to do that, and it may happen. We’ve seen it happen in Italy.”
Speaking to Channel 4 News, Dr Hepburn described the critical care unit as “controlled chaos”.
He added: “The pattern of illness we’ve seen in Gwent is much younger patients than we were expecting. When the reports started coming out of Wuhan, we were led to believe this was something that was particularly dangerous for the more elderly patients, but I would say all the patients we’ve got in intensive care are in their 50s or younger.
Dr Hepburn urged people to listen to government advice and stay indoors.
He said: “If people get bored and they leave the house and the infection rate starts to spread, it will be like a wave and it will wash the hospital away – the fallout from that would be absolutely catastrophic and I can’t emphasise that enough.”
Dr Hepburn also warned that “we will see more healthcare workers will dying of this.”
Latest information on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Most cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) seem to be mild.
Coronavirus is a viral disease that can cause coughing, fever and difficulty breathing. It can be more severe in older people, those with weakened immune systems and some long-term conditions like diabetes or cancer.
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