Four weeks into the UK lockdown, our surgeons continue to provide virtual private consultations to non urgent private patients, and face to face consultations for urgent musculoskeletal issues.
In the NHS however, serious musculoskeletal trauma continues to arrive despite the lockdown.
Our surgeons have been working to provide the operations that these patients need, but have also been working in other less familiar departments such as ITU. Whilst not ITU doctors, they have been able to provide manual help to the ITU team, including moving patients and assisting nursing and physiotherapy staff.
Many people will be aware from news reports that there have been many concerns about availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) that is essential to protect both the healthcare worker and the patient. Fortunately, in all of the NHS hospitals our consultants work in PPE provision has been excellent.
In the picture you can see a selection being modelled for your viewing pleasure!
What cannot be seen here is the plastic aprons worn under the gowns, the multiple layers of gloves, and the restrictive nature of the masks. This makes the operating experience very uncomfortable and physically arduous.
The masks on particular are extremely uncomfortable. The seal around the face is extremely tight and the air filters make breathing difficult. It is not uncommon at the end of a two hour operation to feel markedly more dehydrated and fatigued.
Our consultants would like to thank the anaesthetic and intensive care teams for all their hard work. It has been quite exceptional. In addition, many of the nurses that we work with on a day to day basis normally have been moved to work in ITU. It is not easy to express what a challenge it is to be moved into such a different working environment, not just physically but also mentally and emotionally. They are a credit to their hospitals and the NHS.