A DOCTOR MP has warned it could be only days before life-or-death decisions will need to be made for coronavirus patients.
Hospitals are having to care for critically ill people in their 30s and 40s and will have to make “heart-wrenching” decisions soon, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan said.
As numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to soar, the doctor-turned-MP has said frontline medical staff are “frightened” and having to make horrible decisions.
She told BBC Radio 4: “Heart-wrenching and unenviable choices need to be made in the situation that we don’t have any ventilators (left).”
“In a matter of days or a couple of weeks we will be having to make life-and-death decisions, impossible decisions, over who gets the last ventilator.”
Doctors in Italy have already been told to save ventilators for patients under 60, because there are not enough of the life-saving machines.
It came as:
- An 18-year-old was thought to have become the youngest victim of the virus in Britain as the number of deaths in the UK rose to 335 today
- There are growing fears that Britain is on a similar trajectory to Italy – scene of the world’s worst outbreak – where the death toll passed 5,000 over the weekend
- The PM warned the NHS could be “overwhelmed” in the same way as the Italian healthcare system has been, if the spread of the virus in the UK is not curbed
- 1.5million vulnerable people will be written to this week to tell them to stay indoors
- Trains were taken under government control this morning – with Brits able to get a refund on unused season tickets
- All McDonalds branches will be closed from tonight – along with Nando’s, Costa Coffee, John Lewis, Primark and Timpson
- Ministers will bring forward emergency laws to the Commons tonight giving the PM sweeping powers to fine people who don’t isolate
Dr Allin-Khan has been working on the frontline in A&E at St George’s Hospital in London on top of her job as an MP.
She described horrifying scenes of wards full to the brim with coronavirus patients.
“In the emergency department we are on the front line, and what we are seeing is a growing number of cases that are growing day by day.”
She said previously young, fit and healthy patients were now fighting for their lives.
“Some of the sickest patients… have been young, we have patients who have been in their 30s and 40s, who were previously fit and well and who are now in intensive care and fighting for their lives.”
Dr Allin-Khan said medical staff were “built” to deal with crises, but even they are scared.
“Staff are frightened, they are frightened for their health, for those they may love”
“Of course we are scared, we’re scared we’re going to lose patients but we are mentally strong, as emergency nurses and doctors we are built for this.”
The Labour MP warned Brits needed to take social distancing measures seriously, otherwise they were putting lives at risk.
“We are headed for a disaster if people do not heed the social distancing measures,”
“This is only going to get worse and there’s a real sense it’s only going to get harder and harder in the coming weeks.”
Her comments come after hordes of Brits flocked to parks and beaches around the country, ignoring the PM’s advice to stay home to save lives.
Boris Johnson warned a more restrictive lockdown could be on the cards if people aren’t following the guidance.
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