A bus driver and shopkeepers are fighting Covid in London hospital – My London
Doctors are pleading with the public to stay at home as a diverse section of Londoners have been admitted to intensive care battling coronavirus, showing just how easily Covid-19 is spreading.
Two out of three beds at Northwick Park Hospital are said to be filled with Covid patients and unlike the first wave, lots of them are younger and have no underlying health conditions.
At the start of the pandemic, the hospital had to declare a critical incident, but now doctors and nurses say they are dealing with even more cases at a rate of 80 a day.
Some of the patients include a postman, shopkeepers, a bus driver and Uber drivers.
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Rachel Tennant, Clinical Director for acute medicine at Northwick Park Hospital, said Friday (January 8) was the worst day in her 25-year NHS career.
Speaking to The Sun she said: “People think it’s affecting the frail and the elderly. What I am seeing is the average working person who can’t do their job from home, usually 50 to 70, but some as young as in their 20s.
“We have seen two or three shop workers in the last few days, a teacher’s husband, bus and Uber drivers.
“We had someone in their 20s who was minutes away from dying this weekend.
“I qualified in 1996, and I have never known pressure like this. This peak started coming between Christmas and New Year…it just went mental and has stayed like that.”
Northwick Park Hospital, in Harrow, is getting covid patients at a rate of 80 a day (Image: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
She said conditions are far worse than April 2020 and added: “A 50-year-old postman who is healthy with two teenage kids does not expect to be fighting for their life – suffocating and suspended between life and death – not knowing you will see your family again.
“It’s terrifying and it is really avoidable. I get it, we are all fed up of it [lockdown].
“But this is not a conspiracy, this is real. Whatever age you are, you could get really unwell. Please, please do your best to avoid contact with people outside your household.”
Intensive care patient Nosheen said she called 111 after she started getting into difficulty at home.
Ambulances queue outside a hospital in London (Leon Neal/Getty Images) (Image: Getty Images)
Speaking to The Sun from a ward at the hospital, she said: “I was just at home self-isolating and then by the evening I had quite a bad temperature and then at night time I started getting breathing problems – by Saturday evening I was finding it quite hard to breathe.
“I rang 111 for advice and they told me they were going to send an ambulance
“I’m ok, I have got breathing problems still, my oxygen levels are quite low, they still keep increasing the oxygen. I didn’t think I was going to be hit by it so hard.
She urged the public not to take things for granted and added: “Try to understand the severity of it as it is out there it is happening and it is spreading very fast.”
“This is now worse than last spring”
Dr Suntharalingam, who is also president of the Intensive Care Society, told The Sun “It is as bad as I have ever seen.”
He added: “This is completely unprecedented. This volume of critically ill patients coming through the door in large numbers, and at the moment we’re still seeing it rise.
“We’re still seeing the impact of Christmas. We haven’t seen the impact of New Year yet.
“This is now worse than last spring. The worry would be this is not showing any signs of slowing down.
“People need to realise this disease that can put you in intensive care.
“There’s a direct connection between how people behave and the numbers in hospital down the road.
“It’s not just the Covid patients, it’s affecting our ability to look after everybody else as well. From cancer patients being delayed, to others not having a knee replacement.”
He pleaded with readers to abide by regulations and get the vaccine when offered.
To donate funds to the Intensive Care Society visit www.ics.ac.uk/fundraising .