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Doctors in Covid hotspots say they will face ‘horrendous choices over those who live and die’

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Doctors in Covid hotspots say they will face ‘horrendous choices over those who live and die’ within DAYS, as London hospital staff triage patients queued up outside in ambulances

  • London’s intensive care units have requested for critical care patients to be transferred to Yorkshire Hospitals 
  • Data leaked to HSJ showed London’s intensive care units were running at 114 per cent capacity Monday night
  • Some hospitals in Tier Four regions were dealing with queues of ambulances outside A&Es, medics say
  • One consultant said colleagues will soon face making ‘horrendous choices’ over who lives and who dies 
  • England’s hospitals are now busier than they were at the peak of the first coronavirus wave, figures show 

Medics in Covid hotspots are just days away from having to make ‘horrendous choices’ over who they can treat and who is left to die, a consultant warned last night.

England’s hospitals are now busier than they were during the darkest days of the spring, with record coronavirus admissions forcing ambulances to wait outside crowded NHS facilities and many intensive care units operating well over their capacity.

It emerged certain London ICUs have asked major hospitals in Yorkshire, more than 150 miles to the north, if they will agree to take some patients.

With beds, staff and equipment all running low, consultant anaesthetist Dr Claudia Paoloni warned the situation was just days away from reaching the point where care would be rationed.

Dr Paoloni, president of the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association, told The Guardian: ‘Our NHS just doesn’t have the beds to cope. Some areas will be overwhelmed in days. If ventilation capacity is exceeded, horrendous choices will have to be made over those who live and die.’

She added that other life determining choices will also have to be made, including which patients to admit to intensive care and how long to continue treatments on patients who appear to be making no progress, if for example a patient with better chances of survival needs the haemodialysis machine they are using.



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