BHRUT Doctor: Staff coping despite ‘brutal’ and ‘relentless’ coronavirus frontline

Doctor Prakash Naik describes the coronavirus frontline as "brutal" and "relentless" but says staff

Doctor Prakash Naik describes the coronavirus frontline as "brutal" and "relentless" but says staff are coping. Picture: Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals - Credit: Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals

A consultant in the Intensive Care team at Queen’s Hospital has shared his experience from the frontline.

Prakash Naik, who has worked at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust for more than 16 years, said: “I am sure you all would like to know the situation out there right on the frontline. Yes, it’s brutal and yes, it’s relentless.”

How bad is the situation at Queen’s?

“Numbers are enormous, but we are coping. We are coping because we all have pulled together, proactively anticipating problems and trying to find solutions.”

“We are seeing increasing numbers of Covid-19 patients being admitted to our high dependency and intensive care units, but we have significantly increased our capacity, so we still have more beds. We’ve even started taking patients from neighbouring hospitals which are struggling.

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How are patients responding to treatment?

“All patients on the units have received the treatment they need and results are showing. We have discharged quite a few patients over the last week following non-invasive ventilation, and we’ve had a few successful extubations (removing breathing tubes) over the last couple of days as well.

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“When a patient is discharged home after recovering from Covid-19 it gives a huge boost to the whole team and, most important, it gives hope.”

Are you receiving a sufficient supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) at the moment?

“Be assured we have enough supply of the necessary PPE to cater to all ICU staff, and no one has had to take unnecessary risks.”

Do you think coronavirus will change our community? In what ways?

“Yes, it’s going to change our community, our demographics and our patient population. Many of us will know someone who has died before their time, which will be a huge loss for the families, and the community.

“But I think we all have left no stone unturned to care for our community in this very difficult time and I am sure my colleagues on the frontline will agree. This is a battle we must win and, with everyone’s support, we will.”

Dr Naik made one last appeal to the Barking, Havering and Redbridge community:

“I also have a request for our local population – please, please stay at home, especially if you have conditions which put you at a higher risk. Follow the social isolation guidance strictly and stay safe. We will get over this soon.”

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