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Coronavirus: 'I'm the nurse who switches off the ventilator'

PUBLISHED

Having access to a ventilator can mean the difference between life and death for patients who are seriously ill with COVID-19, but sometimes even these breathing machines cannot save someone's life.

Juanita Nittla is a chief nurse in the intensive care unit (ICU) at London's Royal Free Hospital, and has been working for the NHS as an intensive care specialist nurse for the past 16 years. Switching off ventilators is part of Juanita's job.

The work is traumatic and painful, the 42-year-old says. "Sometimes I feel like I am somewhat responsible for someone's death."

Medical teams face tough decisions about when to stop treatment for patients who aren't getting better. The decision is made after careful consideration, analysing factors such as the age of the patient, underlying health conditions, their response to the virus and likelihood of recovery.

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Source: BBC News, 20 April 2020

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