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Found 1,338 results
  1. News Article
    Patients in England can now have home abortions during the COVID-19 outbreak, the government in England has said. Abortion policy has changed several times during the current pandemic. Women and girls wanting to terminate an early pregnancy were first told the service would be available but that decision was then retracted. Now, the government has decided patients can take two pills at home instead of going to a clinic to avoid exposure to coronavirus. Charities had been worried that women who want an abortion but have underlying health conditions would put themselves at risk to have the procedure or turn to dangerous alternatives. Read full story Source: BBC News, 31 March 2020
  2. News Article
    Amid growing shortages of vital protective equipment in New York hospitals, healthcare workers are desperately scrounging to find facemasks, hiding supplies from colleagues in other departments, and sometimes even pilfering for themselves. The novel coronavirus has infected nearly 45,000 across New York, and more than 550,000 globally. Nurses in New York City were shaken on Tuesday, when Kious Kelly, a nurse manager at a Mount Sinai Health System hospital, died after being infected. Nurses who would normally use masks and other protective gear only once are keeping them for entire shifts or longer to conserve supplies. "Masks disappear," said Diana Torres, a Mount Sinai nurse. "We hide it all in drawers in front of the nurses' station. We hide masks, we have to hide chucks for beds," she said, referring to incontinence pads. Read full story Source: MedScape Nurses, 30 March 2020
  3. News Article
    Hospitals should allow parents to be with children who are being treated for the coronavirus, NHS England has confirmed, after a 13-year-old boy died without any family members beside him. Under its national guidance to hospitals, parents are considered essential visitors, but hospitals do have discretion to suspend visitors if it is “considered appropriate”. Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 should not be allowed to visit a hospital. NHS England confirmed the position after 13-year-old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab died at King’s College Hospital in south London in the early hours of Monday without any family members present. A statement by his family suggested he was alone because of the risk of infection. On its website the hospital repeated the guidance sent to trusts by NHS England that states children are allowed one parent or carer as a visitor, but declined to explain why his family were not with him. The end-of-life charity Marie Curie has also called on doctors to allow families to be with their loved ones, describing it as an “important part of their duty of care”. Read full story Source: The Independent, 2 April 2020
  4. News Article
    GPs are having end of life conversations with their patients because of concerns over a lack of intensive care beds during the coronavirus crisis. Multiple GPs have told HSJ they are talking to patients who are older or in very high risk groups about signing “do not attempt to resuscitate” forms in case these patients were to go on to contract the virus. Some practices have also sent letters to patients requesting they complete the forms, it is understood. One leader of a primary care network, who asked not to be named, told HSJ: “Those in the severe at-risk group and those over 80 are being told they won’t necessarily be admitted to hospital if they catch coronavirus.” Read full story Source: HSJ, 1 April 2020
  5. News Article
    A major hospital trust has told staff they should attend work even if a household member is showing covid-19 symptoms, contrary to national guidance. Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust’s occupational health department has told staff who had reported having family members with covid-19 symptoms they were still expected to attend work. In the email exchanges seen by HSJ, some as recently as a couple of days ago, the trust’s occupational health department was clear there was an NUTH policy agreement with Public Health England. Read full story Source: HSJ, 1 April 2020
  6. News Article
    Royal Wolverhampton Trust (RWT) has become the first provider to sign a deal with Babylon Health for citywide coverage of a new COVID-19 app, HSJ has learned. Digital health provider Babylon announced earlier this month the creation of a “covid-19 care assistant” app, which provides patients with digital triage, a live chat service, a symptom tracker and video consultation. RWT’s deal covers around 300,000 patients registered to a Wolverhampton GP, and all trust staff regardless of where they live. Earlier this year, RWT announced a 10-year deal with Babylon to develop a “digital-first integrated care” model. The new COVID-19 app will be made available to staff today and will then be rolled out to the general public next week. Read full story Source: HSJ, 3 April 2020
  7. Content Article
    Take 1-minute to self-report daily, even if you are well. Help scientists identify: high-risk areas in the UK who is most at risk, by better understanding symptoms linked to underlying health conditions how fast the virus is spreading in your area.
  8. News Article
    New figures reveal that what we think we know about the Covid-19 death toll in the UK is wrong. Here’s why. Every day we get one big figure for deaths occurring in the UK. Everyone jumps on this number, taking it to be the latest toll. However NHS England figures – which currently make up the bulk of UK deaths – in fact reflect the day on which the death was reported, not the actual date of death, which is usually days, sometimes weeks, before it appears in the figures. The truth is we don’t know how many deaths have taken place the previous day. In fact the headline figure is likely to under-report the number of deaths that actually happened the previous day. The number we hear about usually counts deaths which took place at an earlier date. The difference matters because by undercounting the number of deaths we are skewing the curve. Read full story Source: Guardian, 4 April 2020
  9. News Article
    The UK's organ transplant network could be forced to shut down as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, the body that runs the scheme is warning. One factor is the pressure on intensive care beds, according to NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT). But there is also the risk to transplant patients, who have their immune systems suppressed so their bodies don't reject new organs. This is a dilemma for those like Ana-Rose Thorpe, from Manchester, who is waiting for a liver transplant. Now aged 29, Ana-Rose has lived with hepatitis almost her entire life after contracting it as a baby. The disease has taken its toll and now her liver is failing and she is in desperate need of a transplant. "Having to go into hospital while there are coronavirus patients there is very worrying," she says. "Whilst my body could withstand the transplant, the longer I'm not being monitored, not being seen as often as I was, the longer I leave it, I could just get sicker and sicker. "I feel like it's patients that are already on the transplant list, patients waiting for other operations, we have just been swept aside." "It's my life - it is a matter of life and death," Ana-Rose says. Read full story Source: BBC News, 9 April 2020
  10. News Article
    Shortages are dogging the fight against the coronavirus. At Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) it's still only possible to test six staff for the virus per day, consultants have been making their own personal protective equipment, and there's an urgent need to save oxygen. Searching for ways round the problem, Dr Tom has been working with Leeds University on a 3D-printed valve that could be attached to the hospital's ventilators to reduce the amount of oxygen they use. But he also began looking at CPAP machines used to treat sleep apnoea at home. These maintain air at a continuous pressure, inside a mask, to keep the user's airways open - they have to be repurposed to provide oxygen for use in the hospital, but they use much less of it than standard hospital ventilators. They said, 'Yes we've got 2,000, how many do you want?''' he says. "And so our plan is to start with 100 and to see whether, if we use these early enough during a patient's stay, we can prevent people deteriorating and needing to go on to the more complex ventilators, and needing to come to the intensive care unit." We've been testing them over the weekend, and there's evidence from China and from the US that they seem effective. They just help inflate your lungs and that seems to be beneficial. They are also very simple, which means that there's no need for a huge amount of training. Read full story Source: BBC News, 7 April 2020
  11. News Article
    NHS staff still do not have the protective equipment they need to treat coronavirus patients, medics have said. The British Medical Association (BMA) said doctors were putting their lives at risk by working without adequate protection. It comes as the health secretary said 19 NHS workers had died with coronavirus since the outbreak began. Read full story Source: BBC News, 11 April 2020
  12. News Article
    Cancer doctors say difficult decisions are having to be made to postpone some patients' care during the coronavirus crisis. Some treatments such as chemotherapy can weaken the immune system, and potentially put patients at greater risk from COVID-19. Some of those affected have been expressing concern. Roisin Pelan is 38 and lives in Lancashire. She has incurable breast cancer and had been taking chemotherapy tablets every day. Every three months she also visits the hospital to receive the drug intravenously. Last month she was told her chemotherapy treatment would be stopped for 12 weeks. "It's terrifying they've stopped treatment that I know is keeping me alive," she says. "To have that taken away is just unbearable. How do we know it's only going to be 12 weeks? This pandemic could go on a lot longer." NHS England has told trusts that all essential and urgent cancer treatments must continue but specialists should discuss with patients whether it is riskier for them to undergo it or delay. Read full story Source: BBC News, 13 April 2020
  13. News Article
    Once COVID-19 seeps into care homes, it is a monumentally difficult job to protect the residents, writes Sky's Alex Crawford. We will look back at this appalling, tragic episode in our global history, and our children and grandchildren will ask us: "Did that really happen? Did you really leave the most vulnerable of our society - the elderly, the infirm, the defenceless, the muddled, sick and weak - in care homes, shut away from their closest relatives? Did you leave them to be ravaged by a deadly virus, and do very little to help them?" Because that is what's happening right now. There are elderly people - many with Alzheimer's, many with dementia, many frail - in thousands of residential homes up and down Britain, and they are very much at risk. Read full story Source: Sky News, 11 Aril 2020
  14. News Article
    The number of measles infections around the world could surge in the wake of coronavirus as countries are forced to suspend vaccination programmes. The World Health Organization (WHO) has said it fears more than 117 million children could miss out on being vaccinated against measles, which killed 140,000 people in 2018. Officials worry that 37 countries where the deadly virus is a major threat could delay immunisation programmes, with 24 countries already suspending their efforts as attention is focused on containing and preventing the spread of COVID-19. Read full story Source: The Independent, 14 April 2020
  15. News Article
    GPs are advising patients with respiratory diseases to buy oxygen privately amid shortages of the gas across the NHS. Last week hospitals were warned to urgently consider limiting how many patients were given oxygen simultaneously. Hospitals usually have a pipeline to pump liquid oxygen from a central store to the wards, but most do not have the capacity to meet the demand from the number of patients they are treating with COVID-19. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 12 April 2020
  16. News Article
    Millions of patients face being left without a dentist as one in five practices are on the brink of collapse this month. A sharp loss of income since the government banned all routine dental care during the coronavirus crisis has crippled practices, with many poised to close permanently. Some have already been forced out of business. A British Dental Association (BDA) survey of 2,800 practices found 71.5% said they could stay “financially sustainable” for only three months at the most. More than one in five, 20.4%, said they would not survive beyond April. Mick Armstrong, who chairs the association, said: “Practices are weeks from a cliff edge. Without meaningful support, the nation’s dental services face decimation.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 12 Aril 2020
  17. News Article
    In March, while the UK delayed, Ireland acted. For many this may prove to have been the difference between life and death. The choices our governments have made in the last month have profoundly shaped what risks we, as citizens, are exposed to during the course of this pandemic. Those choices have, to a large extent, determined how many of us will die. At the time of writing, 365 people have died in Ireland of COVID-19 and 11,329 have died in the UK. Adjusted for population, there have been 7.4 deaths in Ireland for every 100,000 people. In the UK, there have been 17 deaths per 100,000. In other words, people are dying of coronavirus in the UK at more than twice the rate they are dying in Ireland. In her article, Elaine Doyle explores why this might be. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 14 April 2020
  18. News Article
    Doctors have been warned that crucial drugs used to help sedate and ventilate patients in intensive care are running out due to the demand caused by coronavirus. An alert to hospitals from NHS England today said there were “limited supplies” of muscle relaxant drugs atracurium, cisatracurium and rocuronium, which are used during intubation when patients are sedated and paralysed with a ventilator used to help them breathe. As a result of the shortages, and to help maintain supplies, NHS England said it would now manage existing supplies “centrally”. Its said supplies of atracurium and cisatracurium were likely to be exhausted in coming days, and hospitals would need to switch to alternatives that were still available. A critical care nurse working in ICU in the south of England told The Independent they were already using alternatives but that this had to be used at different concentrations and run for longer to achieve the same sedation. She said changes like this with staff overstretched could increase the likelihood of drug errors. Read full story Source: The Independent, 17 April 2020
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