Teenage nurse reveals grim reality of treating dying coronavirus patients: 'You can see the pain in their eyes'
A teenage nurse working in the National Health Service (NHS) has shared a tearful selfie over the weekend, slamming "irresponsible" British residents for ignoring the lockdown amid the coronavirus crisis in the UK. The 19-year-old, identified as Lucy Hutchings, who works on a coronavirus ward, took to social media after a tiring 13-hour shift.
Hutchings talked about the emotional toll of treating elderly patients with coronavirus, some of who were on end-of-life support. The teen, who works at Southampton General Hospital as a healthcare assistant, claimed that her hospital was running out of essential personal protective equipment. She added that she was concerned and scared about the increasing number of patients who are infected with the virus. Hutchins said that multiple wards at her hospital, including her own, have been closed and reserved for Covid-19 patients, the Daily Mail reported.
"We get people who are on end-of-life support and people who don't need ventilators," she said in a post on Facebook. "Lots of the patients need oxygen and most are in their late 60s to 90s. You can see in their eyes that some of them are in pain - they're saying they're fine but they're not fine."
"It's really sad to see people with the virus. This is real life and watching people in pain and suffer is devastating. I'm scared and think it's going to get worse - it feels like it's only the beginning," Hutchins continued.
The teen added that she gets anxious about how the coronavirus situation is turning out to be and had not thought that it would get this bad.
"When I go into the ward I just have to act normal but when you're putting on all your gear and about to go into the room it's like, 'Wow, this is what it has come to," she said in the video. "Everybody I work with is scared but they're also amazing as they do such a great job."
Hutchins said that although most of the patients in her ward are aged 40 and older, she said that staff at her hospital had warned the healthcare workers there that they might see an increase in the number of young coronavirus being admitted to the institution.
"[People] think, 'Oh I won't get it I'll be fine' but it's not fine, it's killing hundreds of people every day. The quicker people stay indoors, the quicker it will be over," she said. " I'd like to stay at home and eat food and do what I want too but I can't, so for people to go against the rules it's so stupid and irresponsible. Staying home is a privilege. This is real - this is not a joke, everyone needs to take what's being said seriously."
Hutchins said that she lives with her parents and brother but has not spent much time with them since the beginning of the pandemic because she does not want to pass the virus to them. She said that ever since she started treating Covid-19 patients, she has come straight home had a shower and gone to her room.
The UK has over 19,000 cases of coronavirus in the country with more than 1,200 deaths reported.