Three nurses ‘test positive for coronavirus’ after being forced to wear waste bags due to PPE shortage
Nurses reportedly tested positive for coronavirus after wearing bin bags to protect themselves while working with patients due to personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage.
A few weeks ago, the three nurses had shared a photo showing them wearing clinical waste bags instead of proper protective equipment. They shared the photograph to raise awareness about the shortage of masks, gowns, and gloves at Northwick Park Hospital, in Harrow, as reported by Metro.
Recently, the hospital declared an emergency situation, since all of their critical care beds were filled with patients. The Daily Telegraph reports that more than 50% of the staff working on one ward have tested positive for COVID-19.
The nurses shared they needed to take the initiative and wear the clinical bin bags, as they had ‘no other choice’.
One of them confessed that while they were already treating their coronavirus infected colleagues, they desperately needed proper equipment. She also shares the horrifying struggles they need to deal with while treating COVID-19 patients.
“There are so many younger people here on ventilation – many with asthma, or diabetes. They can’t stop coughing, they just cough and cough and cough and they can’t help it – but there’s little we can do apart from try to help them breathe. Sometimes the body just gives up, and they die. We can’t save them. The worst part is that we can’t allow their relatives in to say goodbye.”
The nurse added that they had been putting on ‘brave smiles’, but the truth is they were terrified. Many of them fear they could spread the virus into their families, so they had chosen not to see them until the threat disappears.
Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, claims only 5.7% of hospital doctors have been off sick due to COVID-19. However, the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) suggests this number could be more than twice as higher.
Moreover, Dame Donna Kinnair, the Royal College of Nursing’s chief executive and general secretary, also states that nurses are being forced to share their equipment while working with coronavirus patients.
Chairman Jeremy Hunt sent a letter to the parliamentary health committee, saying:
“Our safety and ability to care for patients is being fundamentally compromised by the lack of adequate and correct supplies of vital personal protective equipment and the slow and small-scale roll-out of Covid-19 testing. Our members are facing impossible decisions between their own or their family’s health and their sense of duty.”
The fact that a number of the staff at Northwick Park Hospital have tested positive for coronavirus was also confirmed by a spokesperson for London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital.
They reported that they are providing full support to their employees who caught the virus, and wish them a ‘swift recovery’.