From The Frontline: Dr Vimal Desai, consultant in emergency medicine at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, talks to The Hunts Post.

Emergency consultant Dr Vimal Desai warns public not to ignore Government advice about staying at ho

Emergency consultant Dr Vimal Desai warns public not to ignore Government advice about staying at home. - Credit: Archant

“My colleagues and I are always humbled by the #clapforcarers each Thursday evening.”

“Our thoughts go out to other keyworkers who, amongst other tasks, get us to and from work, ensure that our shelves are stocked, our children are taught and our refuse is collected.

“Paramedics and police officers also join us at the front of Hinchingbrooke Hospital and the sound of applause with the flashing blue lights from the emergency vehicles is a sight to behold.

“I also wanted to highlight the efforts of the teams working in the intensive care units up and down the country; in preparation for the pandemic, they have reconfigured their floorspace so more beds and ventilators are available and rapidly trained up staff not familiar with working in this environment so they can operate the specialist equipment and treat the sickest patients in our hospitals.

“Advances in our knowledge of the pathology of coronavirus has continued with a new insight on how it appears to affect blood vessels and this is changing how we investigate and treat patients with suspected COVID-19.

“In addition, as the country plans its exit strategy, a nationwide study will monitor the prevalence of infection and possibly immunity on a core sample, so that the impact of each step in the lifting of restrictions can be analysed and extrapolated to the general population.

“One area that is creating concern is the drop in the number of patients attending the Emergency Department. With individuals self-isolating and working from home, we expected a reduction in the number of work-related injuries as well as road traffic accidents. In addition, as anticipated, sports injuries are relatively non-existent.

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“However, what is worrying is that we are also seeing less patients presenting with heart-related problems, gastro-intestinal issues and neurological illnesses such as strokes - as much as 40 per cent less than perhaps what we were treating this time last year.

“Whilst we appreciate that COVID-19 is constantly on the news and in the forefront of everyone’s minds, it is vital that everyone remembers that these other conditions are still ever-present and should be managed with the same level of urgency as coronavirus.

“So remember folks, precautions are in place to minimise the spread of infection and the Emergency Department is still open for new-onset or worsening chest pain, severe abdominal pain and other symptoms that may have required prompt emergency treatment in the past. For further advice, refer to the ‘NHS 111’ website.

“As we adapt to this new way of living for the present moment, remember to exercise both your mind and body, talk to friends and family regularly, get some fresh air whenever possible and don’t always believe what you read on social media! Till the next time, stay safe.”