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On Covid19 Front Line in UK
May 19, 2020
by Stuart Franklin
“They are all dead.” These chilling words were relayed to Dr Louise Robinson by her team of trainee medics at 10 AM on April 6. Louise, a palliative care consultant at West Middlesex University Hospital in Isleworth, west London, had left her family home 20 minutes earlier and walked to work in the spring sunshine. Now she was receiving the update from six despondent young doctors in the hospital’s acute medical unit (AMU). Three times they repeated the fact that eight patients had died overnight. One added: “this is not what I thought medicine was going to be.” Their goal was to save lives, not watch all their efforts come to nothing. SF

The number of coronavirus fatalities worldwide has surpassed 200,000, according the latest statistics from Johns Hopkins University and, as for May 11th, deaths in UK related to covid had passed the 40,000. Numbers that make UK the worst-affected country in Europe.
The capacities of the health systems are under pressure worldwide and in the UK the intensive care units have been struggling to meet the influx of coronavirus patients in spite of severe staff shortages. Stuart Franklin has been working closely with West Middlesex University Hospital in west London (one of the city’s busiest hospitals) since the beginning of the pandemic. He witnesses the daily work of the hospital: doctors, nurses and patients.

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