Covid patient feared he ‘wouldn’t make it’ out of intensive care

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A Covid patient battling for his life on an intensive care ward has told how he feared he wouldn’t ‘make it through’ after falling ill over Christmas.

There are currently 30,451 patients in hospital with the virus across the UK, with 2,645 of them requiring a ventilator, government data shows. On Wednesday, there were 62,322 new Covid cases recorded, while deaths increased by 1,041.

Atilla, 67, caught the virus after it spread through his family over the holidays. He told the BBC from his hospital bed in London: ‘It got really bad, I just couldn’t breathe at all.

‘It knocked me out. I didn’t think I’d actually make it through. You’re gasping, it’s like there is no oxygen around. Very very frightening.’

A doctor then explained that if the hospital has to keep increasing its capacity at the continuing rate, it won’t be able to provide intensive health care to all patients after a week.

Overwhelmed staff at St George’s Hospital, in Tooting, also told how they were struggling with Covid cases this week, with some stating that they often cry at the end of shifts as they feel ‘completely demoralised’ battling the second wave.

Jane Evans, a consultant in acute medicine, told how many exhausted staff members said they couldn’t relive the first coronavirus wave earlier in the year – only to be thrust into an even more devastating second wave.

She continued: ‘Here we are, facing what seems at the moment to be a worse surge of patients with Covid and you see people are very tired, very stressed.’

‘And that’s a real worry to us because we just do have to keep going because we have to be here for the patients. But I do worry, you know, about the scars that will leave some of our staff with.’

Earlier this week a circulating draft of NHS emergency triage protocol revealed that Covid patients could be selected for treatment via a ‘lottery’ system if hospitals become overwhelmed with cases.

The document, drafted by medical, palliative care and legal experts at the Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust, stated that when resources become ‘insufficient’ patients should be selected on the basis of what is ‘ethically fair’ for society.

The protocol aims to create ‘structured, explicit, transparent decision-making in a situation we all hope will never arise’, the experts said.

It is being sent to hospitals across the country due to a lack of official guidance from the Department for Health and Social Care and NHS England, with one doctor putting the action down to Matt Hancock’s ‘abdication of responsibility’.

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