Medic in coronavirus hotspot hoped situation would have been ‘better by now’

Tom Wilkinson, PA

An intensive care consultant in one of the country’s worst coronavirus hotspots said he thought the situation would have improved by now.

Dr Richard Cree, who works at Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital, said the number of Covid-19 patients in critical care had increased in the last week.

The critical care unit has 27 coronavirus patients, with 17 on a ventilator, and Dr Cree wrote:
“To be honest, I had thought that things might be a little better by now.”

The medic, who has been blogging about the pandemic, also said the decrease in the number of Covid-19 patients admitted to the hospital has slowed.

In his blog, he said: “We still are admitting a significant number of patients into our various ICUs and we are still sometimes finding it difficult to staff enough beds to put them all in.

“I suppose it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that things are not as good as they should be.

“The case prevalence rate in Middlesbrough is only falling slowly and the town remains one of the five worst affected areas in the country.”

He also wrote about the tragic scene of a young Covid patient whose condition was deteriorating, and whose father was also in hospital with coronavirus.

Coronavirus figures graphic
(PA Graphics)

Dr Cree said there was nothing more they could do for the son, writing: “His mother had already arrived and was sitting by his bed.

“I learnt that his father was also suffering from Covid pneumonitis and was a patient on one of the wards downstairs.

“Over the past few days he had been receiving CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) and so we arranged for the Outreach team to bring him to the ICU and give him high-flow oxygen so he could be next to his son.

“It was a dreadfully sad situation.

“I explained that all we could do now was ensure that their son was comfortable and pain-free whilst we withdrew respiratory support.

“I watched his mother and father together at his bedside and time seemed to slow-down as I witnessed their grief.”

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