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Found 1,338 results
  1. News Article
    Eight in ten coronavirus patients placed on ventilators in New York City have died, according to officials. New York state has recorded more cases than any country other than America itself. The tally rose by 10,000 in 24 hours to 159,937, ahead of Spain and Italy, which at different times have reported the most infections in the world. The US, which now holds the position, had 463,433 confirmed cases yesterday and the national death toll was 16,504. Read full story Source: The Times. 10 April 2020
  2. News Article
    Nurses at a hospital run by a major private healthcare provider have been threatened with disciplinary action after apparently refusing to treat coronavirus patients, according to a leaked email seen by HSJ. The email was sent on Sunday by a senior matron at Nuffield Health’s Cheltenham Hospital, which has been made available to the NHS during the COVID-19 outbreak. She said: “I’m hoping to get another undisturbed day as I’m going to have to formally take on everyone who won’t help on the C19 side." “Unfortunately, it will be a disciplinary matter and referral to the [Nursing and Midwifery Council]. I really don’t want to go down that route but they’re giving me little choice.” It is not clear why staff had refused to help with COVID-19 work, but one staff member who spoke with HSJ said nurses had objected to working without personal protective equipment. A spokesman for Nuffield Health said: “We can categorically state that we have been provided with a full supply of PPE from the local NHS trust so that all members of the team are protected when they treat COVID-19 patients. The team has also been given the appropriate training to ensure they can carry out their roles safely.” Read full story Source: HSJ, 14 April 2020
  3. News Article
    The coronavirus crisis has led to a sharp rise in the number of seriously ill people dying at home because they are reluctant to call for an ambulance, doctors and paramedics have warned. Minutes of a remote meeting held by London A&E chiefs last week obtained by the Guardian reveal that dozens more people than usual are dying at home of a cardiac arrest – potentially related to coronavirus – each day before ambulance crews can reach them. And as the chair of the Royal College of GPs said that doctors were noticing a spike in the number of people dying at home, paramedics across the country said in interviews that they were attending more calls where patients were dead when they arrived. The minutes also reveal acute concern among senior medics that seriously ill patients are not going to A&E or dialling 999 because they are afraid or do not wish to be a burden. “People don’t want to go near hospital,” the document said. “As a result salvageable conditions are not being treated.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 16 April 2020
  4. News Article
    The world is likely to face a global crisis in poor mental health after the coronavirus pandemic has passed, experts have warned. Two dozen mental health scientists including neuroscientists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and public health experts have warned of the long-term impact of the virus on people’s mental health and demanded governments prioritise research to come up with evidence-based treatments. They also called for real-time monitoring of mental health in the UK and across the world in order to gauge the severity of the expected increase in poor mental wellbeing. Their warning, in the journal Lancet Psychiatry, comes as a new Ipsos Mori survey carried out at the end of March revealed people’s mental health was already being affected by the UK lockdown and self-isolation policy. Read full story Source: The Independent, 16 April 2020
  5. News Article
    An “unprecedented” national suicide prevention plan has been launched by a government advisory group amid concerns suicides could increase during the covid-19 pandemic, HSJ can reveal. The government’s national suicide prevention advisory group has developed the plan to address risks covid-19 could present to vulnerable people. Chair of the group and the national adviser to the government on suicide prevention, Louis Appleby, told HSJ the plan was centred on getting far quicker access to data on suicides and self-harm episodes, which is the strongest indicator of suicide risk. He said: “We are in unprecedented times, we haven’t got a lot of evidence on what happens to suicides rates during pandemics, so we’re having to infer from what we know generally to see where the risk might lie. “This is a serious attempt, in some senses an unprecedented attempt to prevent a [physical health] crisis turning into a mental health crisis." Read full story Source: HSJ, 17 April 2020
  6. News Article
    A three-year-old child died after its desperate mother spent more than an hour on hold to the NHS 111 helpline. The ill child suffered a cardiac arrest at its home and died in hospital, according to details of critical incidents affecting children in London amid the coronavirus crisis. Another case saw a six-month-old die from sepsis and liver failure because the parents feared the child could catch Covid-19 in hospital, the Evening Standard reports. Doctors have raised concerns that parents are not seeking treatment for their children amid the outbreak. Read full story Source: 16 April 2020, Mail Online
  7. News Article
    More than 9 in 10 people dying with coronavirus have an underlying health condition, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show. The ONS looked at nearly 4,000 deaths during March in England and Wales where coronavirus was mentioned on the death certificate. In 91% of cases the individuals had other health problems. The most common was heart disease, followed by dementia and respiratory illness. On average, people dying also had roughly three other health conditions. The ONS has also looked at the differences in death rates by age and sex, with men twice as likely to die with coronavirus. Unsurprisingly, the risk of dying increases with age, rising sharply from age 60 years onwards. Read full story Source: BBC News, 17 April 2020
  8. News Article
    The UK is gearing up to use the blood of coronavirus survivors to treat hospital patients ill with the disease. NHS Blood and Transplant is asking some people who recovered from COVID-19 to donate blood so they can potentially assess the therapy in trials. The hope is that the antibodies they have built up will help to clear the virus in others. The US has already started a major project to study this, involving more than 1,500 hospitals. A statement from the organisation said: "We envisage that this will be initially used in trials as a possible treatment for Covid-19. If fully approved, the trials will investigate whether convalescent plasma transfusions could improve a Covid-19 patient's speed of recovery and chances of survival." "All clinical trials have to follow a rigorous approval process to protect patients and to ensure robust results are generated. We are working closely with the government and all relevant bodies to move through the approvals process as quickly as possible." Read full story Source: BBC News, 20 April 2020
  9. News Article
    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. Read full story Source: BBC News, 20 April 2020
  10. News Article
    The government’s chief scientific adviser has cautioned against banking on a OVID-19 jab, warning that new vaccines are “long shots”. Oxford University researchers are planning to begin human trials of a vaccine this week and believe that they could have results showing whether it works as early as September. However, Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser, has cautioned that even if a vaccine shows signs of protecting against the virus, ensuring that it is safe could take much longer. “All new vaccines that come into development are long shots. Only some end up being successful,” he said yesterday. “Coronavirus will be no different and presents new challenges for vaccine development. This will take time.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 20 April 2020
  11. News Article
    More than a quarter of patients with COVID-19 on ventilators also need renal support in the form of dialysis, raising concerns that there could be significant supply problems as countries attempt to stock up on the required fluid and plastic consumables. Nephrology consultant Graham Lipkin told The BMJ, “This is an under-recognised challenge. While the original focus has been on whether we have enough ventilators and intensive care beds, it has become apparent that there is a high incidence of acute kidney injury (AKI) requiring some form of renal replacement therapy (RRT) through dialysis. With the volume of people coming into intensive care, there are increasing challenges to capacity across the system.” Lipkin, who is president of the Renal Association, has been working with NHS England to develop new clinical guidelines for the prevention and optimal management of AKI in hospital. The guidance aims to reduce the incidence of AKI and therefore the demand for dialysis. Read full story Source: BMJ, 21 April 2020
  12. News Article
    Some seriously ill COVID-19 patients in London may not have been taken to hospital by ambulance because of a system temporarily used to assess people, a BBC investigation suggests. Patients could have "become very sick or died at home" instead, a paramedic claimed. One family said they had to plead to get hospital care. Medical professionals use 'NEWS2', as one way of identifying patients at risk of deteriorating, a check normally used for sepsis patients. Under normal circumstances, ambulance teams would blue-light anyone with a score of five or above to hospital. But on 18 March, LAS workers were told to apply the NEWS2 check to suspected Covid patients and that many of those with a score up to seven could be "suitable for community care", even if there were issues with breathing rate, oxygen supply and consciousness. But one paramedic, who wanted to remain anonymous because she did not have permission to speak to the media, said she believed that as a result of the NEWS2 advice, crews went to patients "who may have been seen by ambulance before and then suddenly became very sick or even just dropped dead." Read full story Source: BBC News, 23 April 2020
  13. News Article
    Delays in diagnosing and treating people with cancer could lead to more years of lost life than with COVID-19, according to a leading cancer expert. A drop-off in screening and referrals means roughly 2,700 fewer people are being diagnosed every week, Cancer Research UK says. Cancer screening has paused in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with few invitations sent out in England. People are still advised to contact their GP with worrying symptoms. But Richard Sullivan, professor of cancer and global health at King's College London, said there was more fear of Covid-19 than of having cancer at the moment. With GPs more difficult to contact than normal, this was resulting in a "dramatic drop-off" in referrals to specialists, he said. "Most modellers in the UK estimate excess of deaths is going to be way greater than we are going to see with Covid-19," he said. Read full story Source: 22 April 2020, BBC News
  14. News Article
    There is growing concern that standard personal protective equipment (PPE), which often has a unisex design, doesn't always fit women properly. The Department of Health said the kit is designed to protect "both genders". However, healthcare workers are saying that even the smallest sizes are too big for some women - who make up 77% of the NHS workforce, according to NHS Digital figures from 2018. If it is too big it can be less effective in providing a complete barrier to the virus. "PPE is designed to be unisex and offer protection for both genders, although some products are available in different sizes to enable fit to both small and larger frames," said the Department of Health, in a statement. But the Royal College of Nursing has described "one-size-fits-all" personal protective equipment as "problematic" and "restrictive" when it can be worn for up to 12 hours during shifts. PPE includes gloves, masks, gowns and face shields. "Nurses can find it very difficult to treat patients if this equipment is so uncomfortable it makes them hot and unwell," said Rose Gallagher, professional lead for infection prevention and control. Read full story Source: BBC News, 29 April 2020
  15. News Article
    Hospital leaders have launched a strident attack on the government’s coronavirus testing strategy, as it became clear that the target of 100,000 daily tests by 30 April would be comprehensively missed. NHS Providers, which represents foundation trusts in England, rounded on ministers for “a series of frequent tactical announcements” to expand testing criteria, and dismissed the 100,000 target as a “red herring” that distracted from their failures. Just 33,000 people were tested for COVID-19 in the latest 24-hour period – a record high for a single day – according to official figures. Dominic Raab, the first secretary of state, said that more than 52,000 tests were carried out, but this total is apparently bolstered by 19,000 retests. Test capacity was now more than 73,000 a day, he said – still considerably below the target set by the health secretary, Matt Hancock, at the start of April. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 30 April 2020
  16. News Article
    Doctors should reassure parents and carers of children who are immunocompromised that immunosuppression does not seem to increase the risk of severe COVID-19, the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) advises in a rapid guideline. “Covid-19 usually causes a mild, self-limiting illness in children and young people, even in those who are immunocompromised,” NICE says. Children and teenagers who are immunocompromised and their carers may be feeling particularly anxious and fearful about covid-19, so it is important they are involved in decision making as much as possible, NICE advises. Doctors should also support patients’ and carers’ mental wellbeing through communication and by signposting to charities and support groups. The guideline says that patients should not avoid their usual appointments unless they have been told to and should continue with their usual treatment. However, face-to-face contact should be reduced where safely possible and alternative approaches such as telephone, video, or email consultations used instead. When deciding whether to start treatments that affect the immune system, doctors should discuss the risks and benefits with the patient and their carers. If it is safe to delay treatment then watchful waiting should be undertaken. Read full story Source: BMJ, 1 May 2020
  17. Content Article
    This document outlines seven key topics that designers and manufacturers of ventilators should address. Suggestions for how to address these issues and the link to the COVID-19 crisis are identified: User interface Users of ventilators Environment of use Task The risks Instructions for use Training.
  18. News Article
    Ministers have asked local directors of public health to take charge of COVID-19 testing in English care homes in what will be seen as a tacit admission that centralised attempts to run the programme have fallen short. In a letter to sector leaders, seen by the Guardian, the care minister, Helen Whately, acknowledged that testing of care home residents and staff needs to be “more joined up”. She describes the new arrangements as “a significant change”. Under the new approach, public health directors employed by local councils will take lead responsibility for arranging the testing of some 400,000 care home residents and 500,000 staff, in discussion with directors of adult social services, local NHS bodies and regional directors of Public Health England (PHE). Critically, the local public health directors will decide which homes should have priority in the testing programme, which is still working up to a capacity of 30,000 tests a day for the sector. The switch is a conspicuous, if belated, vote of confidence in local government’s ability to help get a grip on the Covid crisis. There has been frustration and incomprehension that public health teams have until now been left as bit-players in the testing programme and in tracking and tracing carriers of the virus. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 8 May 2020
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