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Life-saving transplants delayed as coronavirus patients fill beds

PUBLISHED

Patients are missing out on potentially life-saving organ transplant surgery because hospital intensive care beds are filled by coronavirus patients, The Independent has learnt.

Major organ transplant centres in London, as well as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, have been forced to close their doors to transplant cases because of a lack of beds, the increased risk to patients, and the need to redeploy doctors and nurses to the coronavirus front line.

The impact on organ transplant services follows hundreds of urgent cancer operations being delayed in London and across the country, as NHS trusts run out of spare beds to treat non-Covid patients. Most routine operations have also been stopped in the hardest-hit areas.

Teacher Shona McFadyen was diagnosed with liver cancer in December 2018 and needs an urgent liver transplant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. She has already waited 22 months for her surgery.

She told The Independent: “It’s not the hospital’s fault. I get that. But it just adds to the feeling of hopelessness and it feels like as patients we have been forgotten about. It is life and death for us.”

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Source: The Independent, 13 January 2021

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