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CV19 infection rates in the NHS

Forums Banter CV19 infection rates in the NHS

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    • Our station has 6 confirmed cases amongst an operational staff of roughly 60. Only one hospitalised and while he’s been in almost a week and still needs oxygen, he says he’s on the mend. One in ten doesn’t seem that high a hit rate considering, but they’ve only been testing for the last ten days and then only if symptomatic. Considering what we do, our lack of PPE and the extremely vulnerable people we come into contact with daily, I dread to think what true rates could be.

      Any others out there with an idea of infection rates amongst UK clinical staff?

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      Not clinical, but just as a contrast. In a hospital lab, 3 off (probable +, not hospitalised) in 16 qualified staff; 1 being one of the 6 covering nights (we work alone then). 3 off isolating/off as vulnerable.

      As you, we use no extra ppe than we would have done anyway, cos there is none!

      Also have around 20 unqualified staff, 2 probable + and 3 isolating. 1 extra isolating long term as pregnant.

      The workloads dropped dramatically, so people just standing around. I reckon the +ves more likely to have come from contact than blood samples.

      • Thanks for taking the time to reply. Official UK stats on CV19 seem woefully inadequate. Remarkably so since hard figures are surely vitally important if we are to learn any lessons. What I was hoping was that others in clinical environments might be keeping track of the number of confirmed cases amongst close colleagues.

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          I have suspicions that the paperwork cycle is not being completed. Did an icu patient go to a ward, then home or die later? Did all potential C19 deaths anywhere get tested and logged as such?

          There was no testing for those lab staff and no tracking of any sort. It’s finger in the wind stuff.

          • There was no testing for those lab staff and no tracking of any sort. It’s finger in the wind stuff.

            From my own perspective it seems incredibly stupid not to have initiated blanket testing across the Ambulance service. During a pandemic crews are bouncing between CV19 wards, care homes, closed communities of all kinds and the most at risk and unwell patients isolating at home. Given the poor provision of PPE and the level of close contact required to assess and treat, the potential for crews to spread CV19 is huge, and without figures we’ll never know.

          • To be honest, this is probably one of the major failings of Boris’ attitude to the pandemic, when we could all see it coming.

            Even now, there asking for people who’ve had CV-19 to take part in trials of convalescent plasma clinical trials, but since we didn’t test loads of people, that’s going to limit the people who can volunteer to those that have been in hospital.

            If it does work, we’ve limited our possible list of donors to a very small number.

            I’m really f*cking angry about this, not just because we didn’t do it, but because we were told a load of lies on why we didn’t do it, not enough machines, not enough labs, no reagent. All of these have been proven to be false. So we didn’t get testing into gear for a long time after we should have and it was because someone either couldn’t be arsed, didn’t know we could, or thought better of it. While anyone with an interest could see how useful it was, look at Germany and South Korea.

            It’s only in the past couple of weeks we’ve been testing NHS staff, isn’t it. My sisters department had 60 people self isolating, because they thought they might have it, solely based on symptoms.

            On the plus side, I think tests are becoming more available, my mate runs a couple of care homes and he’s just had one (clear), and some of his staff have had one too, (at least one tested positive). I’m not sure they are very accurate at the moment he was told they have a 30% false negative result, which doesn’t seem great. So he ended up self isolating anyhow!

          • I agree with your opinion, but no labs?? I might not work in a virology lab, but I’d like to think that having some experience I can be quickly trained on a variety of analysers, just as my colleagues round the country could. Locally we offered to do so. Perhaps the Carter report and his view you centralise everything has suddenly become outdated.

          • Stupid, no. Try criminal. You guys are the ultimate front line, you’re the first on the scene to assess possible cases and like you say transporting people around. The lack of PPE is bad enough but you not being tested every few days is in my opinion criminal negligence, people can be infectious for days before showing symptoms if you even show them.

            The powers that be have a hell of a lot to answer for.

          • If I wanted to ensure the widest spread of a virus to the most vulnerable, destroy the economy and society here’s what I’d do:
            Lock down wider society.
            Give ambulance crews ridiculously sub standard PPE.
            Make no testing available to ambulance crews for the first few weeks and after that only give PPE to symptomatic staff to combat a virus that’s mainly asymptomatic.
            Keep all those crews running to very, very low level jobs, with high risk patients (I was sent to see a patient in a high risk group last night because they were constipated. Jobs like that are alarmingly frequent).
            As a body, there isn’t a group out there as exposed as ambulance crews and in turn, the people we have contact with, whether that’s our patients or our families.
            I’m not saying this is a deliberate strategy, I would say people should give serious consideration to whether or not it’s criminally negligent.

    • I know of two staff from an NNU who have had positive tests for Covid-19. Current absentee rate is 10℅, three times more than normal.

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      Based on where I work I would say this is spreading like wildfire through hospital staff.

      In my department everyone of the foundation doctors has been off at some point as have many of the registrars. All but one of them has tested positive. At one point we were unable to field a full on call team due to the level of absence. Interestingly very few of us developed a cough or high fever, with severe fatigue, myalgia/ arthralgia and anosmia being much more common.

      Outside of my department I know multiple doctors, nurses, cleaners and others who have also tested positive. Unfortunately I also know of health care staff in ITU.

      • Amongst crews in our area the majority are attending in FFP3 (many have had to buy their own kit). This is in marked contrast to local hospitals, where staff with a very similar infection risk are overwhelmingly attending in surgical masks. I’d really like to know the differential in infection rates between these two groups, but I don’t think we’ve a hope in hell of getting such information, though to my mind, this would seem to be a pretty crucial piece of evidence if we want to understand transmission vectors.

      • Quite a few doctors where I work are being quite a bit blasé about the virus. Two nights ago, while I was sitting in my truck waiting to hand over a patient I watched a doctor move from a “Dirty area” into a “Clean area” to make a phone call because there was a better phone signal. When the call was ended the doctor then went back into the “Dirty area”.

        I watch nurses freaking out about social distancing, and quite rightly so, and then I observe doctors wandering about as though they are immune or removed from events unfolding around them.






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