Doctor says she's asking coronavirus patients if they want to die at hospital or home giving a glimpse of the horror
She also pleaded with people to stay indoors and 'prevent further avoidable deaths’
A junior A&E doctor from the National Health Service (NHS) has said that she is having conversations with coronavirus patients and their families which she never imagined she would have.
Dr Katie Sanderson stated that she is now forced to ask the dying patients whether they want to die in the hospital or at home.
The 32-year-old, who works in Acute Medicine at a London hospital, was speaking to BBC Radio 4 on March 24 regarding the coronavirus pandemic. She pleaded with listeners to ‘stop and think before leaving their house’, and asked them to stay indoors and 'prevent further avoidable deaths’.
Talking to MailOnline, Dr Sanderson said: “I am 32 and I have colleagues in intensive care who are in their 30s. A friend who is 28 told me they had made their will. Really, really, take this seriously. I have heard people say, ‘I want to get coronavirus so that I will be immune.’ It doesn’t work like that."
“If you do not take this seriously, you are condemning someone to potentially dying with a nurse they don’t know, because we are not allowing visitors in hospitals. That, or dying at home. That is the reality of it.”
The junior doctor continued: “I am doing something I feel profoundly uncomfortable doing, so please, do something you feel uncomfortable doing too. Challenge someone if you think they are doing something dangerous; anything you see that is dangerous. Don’t just think someone else is going to do it. Have difficult conversations with your families. I am not telling people to be a policeman, but I don’t see people who are having these difficult conversations enough.”
Dr Sanderson said: “Last week our A&E completely transformed and is now seeing large numbers of patients coming in every day. I’m having conversations with patients and families of patients asking if they want to die in hospital, where we’re not allowed to have visitors, or if they want to die at home." “They’re conversations that last week I cannot have imagined having," she added.
Throughout the show, the NHS doctor also warned about the future as she said at this point London may be the epicenter of COVID-19 cases, the rest of the UK will soon be affected. “Even if this is not the situation in hospitals outside London yet, things are going to evolve incredibly rapidly there and what I would say is; don’t think about hospital bed numbers, intensive care, capacity today. Think about where we will be tomorrow, the day after, next week. I love my job and I want to spend the rest of my life working in palliative care, looking after people who are dying. But I do not want to be overwhelmed by tears in a loo at work because somebody sends me a picture today of people queuing unsafely.”
She also urged people to stop and think about the measures they can take to help prevent the disease and also how they can help others. “What I want every single person in this country to think this morning – is how we can have not a single further preventable death or preventable transmission of this infection and that doesn’t involve waiting for further clarification of the guidance, somebody cannot tell you what to do every second of the day,” she insisted.
“It is the 24th of March. We can make sure that there is not a single further preventable death that could be your mother, it could be you. There are healthcare professionals in intensive care now who are my age - I’m 32. Please, please, please don’t spend your time talking today about mistakes that may have been made just think about what you can do to save lives,” Dr Sanderson concluded.