A senior doctor has insisted that ‘no coronavirus patient will die alone in hospital’.
Dr Alison Pittard told Sky News that staff will be present to hold hands with sufferers in their final moments.
And Dr Pittard also noted coronavirus deaths are “heartbreaking for families and heartbreaking for staff as well”.
The dean of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine also assured viewers that NHS heroes would be there when needed.
She said: “One of the things we can try and do when someone dies in intensive care is to make sure their family are around them.
“There have been reports that patients have been dying alone and I would like to reassure the public that no person will die in hospital alone.
“They may not have their loved ones next to them but they will have healthcare workers.
“Doctors, nurses and other members of staff who will be by the patient’s side holding their hand.
“[They will] make sure that they’re not alone when they die.”
Dr Pittard’s words come after the family of Britain’s youngest coronavirus victim spoke of their devastation.
Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab died alone at King’s College Hospital in London on Monday.
A statement from his relatives read: “Ismail started showing symptoms and had difficulties breathing. He was admitted to Kings College Hospital.
“He was put on a ventilator and put into an induced coma but sadly died.”
They concluded: “To our knowledge he had no underlying health conditions. We are beyond devastated.”
‘We need to look after NHS staff’
Dr Pittard also said she was concerned about a shortage of staff and critical care beds.
She continued: “It’s absolutely vital that we still try and deliver safe care.
“So yes, staff are having to work in strange environments. They’re having to work in new shift patterns and they’re also having to deliver care in a very different way.
“We normally do one-to-one nurse-to-patient ratios but we are having to stretch that, as you say, to six patients to one nurse.
“We are going to do our best to make sure it’s as safe as possible.
“But obviously working in these unusual circumstances will be extremely stressful for staff. And we need to make sure we look after their health and wellbeing so they can work through this pandemic.
“We have no idea if we will manage the peak or not – obviously we will do our absolute best.
“The most important thing that will have a handle on if we can manage the peak or not is making sure that peak is as low as possible and falls below our capacity.”
The Department of Health confirmed this afternoon (April 3) that the number of deaths due to coronavirus in the UK has risen by 684 to 3,645.
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