‘There is a high number of ethnically diverse patients going into critical care’

We’re now working three days and two nights each week to avoid any more 24-hour shifts, and this rearrangement of shift patterns has allowed me a few days off which was greatly restorative.

During this downtime, I discovered NHS workers can cycle through Richmond Park, a welcome fillip, but I didn’t enjoy locals’ scorning looks as I went around – someone even stepped out to film me in an act of impassioned civil righteousness, so I stopped to show them my NHS badge and justify with gritted teeth why I wasn’t flouting the rules. 

It’s understandable, because during my time off I have observed that people are becoming increasingly complacent about lockdown and are increasingly flouting the rules, which is a slap in the face.

We are at full capacity in ICU and with ECMO numbers like we’ve never known. However, we’re now starting to have a slight negative balance on bed availability as patients either die or get moved to a lower level of intensive care, which ultimately means we’re just at the point of a slight drop in the frequency of intensive care admissions.

With those on ECMO, more are dying than surviving but it’s not a wasted treatment option. Although on the face of it ECMO survival rates are relatively poor, considering it’s a last treatment option for many Covid-19 patients, those who do survive after a run on ECMO are very fortunate to have had this progressive treatment option available to them.

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