A leading medic has warned ‘fifty doctors in Britain will die’ battling the coronavirus pandemic if frontline staff are not properly equipped with protective gear.
Rinesh Parmar, chairman of the Doctors’ Association, claims medics are buying their own personal protective equipment (PPE) in a bid to shield themselves from the deadly virus.
He also says intensive care intensive care doctors and anaesthetists have been carrying out procedures, such as putting a patient on a ventilator, with masks that expired five years ago.
Speaking to The Sun, Dr Parmar warned that if medical staff are not properly equipped that the UK could follow in Italy’s footsteps, where more than 50 members of the medical community have lost their lives.
Rinesh Parmar, chairman of the Doctors’ Association, has warned ‘fifty doctors in Britain will die’ battling the coronavirus if frontline staff are not properly equipped with protective gear
So far, nine medical professionals are known to have died from Covid-19 in the UK, while others working on the frontline have described feeling ‘like lambs to the slaughter’.
Dr Parmar told The Sun: ‘I worry that if we don’t sort out our issues with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and testing of frontline staff in the coming days that we will start to follow a trend that’s very similar with Italy.
‘I dread to think how high it could go.
‘But if the PPE dries up and we have no choice but to treat our patients without the right equipment, I worry it’s going to go in excess of 50.’
The stark warning comes as 73 NHS workers at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London were revealed this week to have been diagnosed with the virus, while 318 were said to be self-isolating.
It also comes following the death of a number of medical professionals, including nurse Aimee O’Rourke, 39.
Mother-of-three Aimee O’Rourke passed away on Thursday at the QEQM Hospital in Margate, Kent, following the surfacing of symptoms two weeks ago
Dr Amged El-Hawrani, 55, (left) an ear nose and throat (ENT) specialist at Queen’s Hospital Burton, died on March 29. Nurse Thomas Harvey, 57, (right) picked up coronavirus when treating a patient in London and died of the virus
The mother-of-three passed away on Thursday at the QEQM Hospital in Margate, Kent, following the surfacing of symptoms two weeks ago.
Just hours later, Areema Nasreen, 36, died shortly after midnight in intensive care at Walsall Manor Hospital, West Midlands, were she had worked.
Other medics known to have died include Dr Adil El Tayar, 63, who died on March 28 after contracting the virus at the Hereford County Hospital and Dr Amged El-Hawrani, 55, an ear nose and throat (ENT) specialist at Queen’s Hospital Burton, who died on March 29
Thomas Harvey, 57, who worked for the NHS for more than 20 years at Goodmayes Hospital in east London and had to self-isolate after catching coronavirus.
According to his family, the father-of-seven died ‘gasping for air’ at their home in east London last Sunday, having collapsed in the bathroom.
Mr Havey’s son, also named Thomas, later described efforts to provide protective equipment to healthcare staff and to roll out Covid-19 testing were much too slow.
Meanwhile, current medical professionals have also expressed major concern about a lack of PPE in the battle against coronavirus, which is known to have infected 41,903 people and killed 4,313 people in the UK.
A junior doctor in the Shrewsbury area said a lack of PPE was putting medics at risk.
The doctor told The Mirror: ‘We are like lambs to the slaughter. I’ve been given a mask but we are meant to use one per Covid-19 patient to stop the virus spreading, but we don’t have that luxury at the minute.
‘One mask will have to do until more are delivered. It’s an absolute shambles.’
Last month, the Mail Online reported how nurses on the frontline of Britain’s war against coronavirus revealed they have been forced to buy their own aprons and treat patients without wearing face masks, due to an alleged supply shortage.
One nurse, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed she had been forced to head to Leyland’s and other tool shops to find plastic aprons after the hospital ran out.
She said: ‘We need to protect ourselves and our families. Some of my colleagues are even refusing to go in now it’s got so bad.’
Another nurse, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said that a nurse on her ward had to care for three suspected COVID-19 patients without a face mask.
The UK’s deputy chief medical officer, Dr Jenny Harries, has previously reassured the public that hospitals have adequate supplies.
NHS Supply Chain said last month it had eased restrictions on supplies of personal protective equipment following a wave of criticism.
It has also started delivering masks from the national pandemic stockpile to hospitals across the country.