West Cork CUH nurse Denise Sinnott graphically describes the harrowing situations herself and her colleagues are facing in their ICU as their worst Covid-19 fears come true
WE were told this would happen. We were told how to prevent it, slow it and maybe even stop it. But no. We needed our pubs, restaurants, our shops. We needed to travel, to visit, we needed a great Christmas.
Were people fatigued by NPHET? Did they cry wolf once too often? The first Lockdown, Level 5, worked, and everyone was on board. The second one, Level 3, was manageable and summer was saved. But did the return to Level 5 tip people over the edge? Were people dismissive of the constant threat of an impending surge, that thus far had not appeared?
Well I can tell you now, it’s here, with a vengeance. I hope everyone enjoyed their parties and Christmas gatherings because there will be a lot of people missing from next year’s Christmas dinner table.
I work in the CUH, there isn’t a medic in here who is not dismayed by the apathy of the general public. What part of ‘stay at home’ is so hard to understand?
On a sunny winter’s day in early January I drove to CUH to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. As I passed Bandon skate park and Innishannon playground I noticed both were full with kids playing and parents sipping coffees.
What an insult. What an insult to every healthcare worker in Ireland. That night I wrote to my local TD Michael Collins (Ind) and local Cllr Sean O’Donovan asking them to close the parks. It’s an absolute joke that these facilities remain open. As long as they are open, people will gather. Cllr Sean O’Donovan kindly replied and said he would raise the issue at the next county council meeting.
In early December, I managed to get a ticket for mass on Christmas Day. As I queued to collect the ticket, the gentleman behind me shared his disappointment that his local shebeen had been raided and closed by gardai. He said ‘sure what we were doing was harmless.’
Did this man think he was in 1930s Chicago, reliving prohibition? Do people think they are getting ‘one over’ on the State by having a shebeen? Folks, it’s not about illegal alcohol, it’s about people not mixing.
The nursing community is on its knees. My colleagues and I have been redeployed in vast numbers. I know of nurses phoning other nurses, in tears from the toilets. They are crying going into work as they dread and fear what lies ahead. Nurses are crying on their journey home because that man died on his own with no one to hold his hand because she was too busy. This is what’s going on. These are true stories.
The lifeboat theory has arrived. It’s in practice. The ICUs are full, medics are making difficult decisions. There is no point blaming the government and NPHET and their handling of the crisis. The buck stops with you. Stay home.
Partners can no longer attend maternity scans
THE surge in Covid-19 cases means that partners are no longer able to attend routine 20-22 week scans at the CUMH.
For a time during the pandemic, the restriction was lifted, but once again it has been reinstated for safety reasons.
In a statement the South/South West Hospital Group said they ‘are very mindful of the distress these restrictions may cause and in line with national guidance, we will review these measures on a weekly basis.’
‘The Group fully understands how challenging visiting restrictions at our four maternity hospitals have been,’ it continued.
‘However, in light of the move to Level 5 restrictions and the increased rate of transmission within the community there is a need to minimise footfall to our maternity units, to limit the risk of the virus spreading.
‘The safety of women, their babies and maternity staff is central to the provision of our maternity services which must be continuously available when required by our patients.’
However, giving some hope to partners, it added that the birthing partner will still be able to attend as soon as the mother is in established labour; for the birth itself; for delivery by Caesarean section; can stay for some time in the immediate post birth period either in the labour ward or the theatre recovery.
When a baby is in the neonatal unit or neonatal intensive care unit one parent (at a time) can visit their baby. The neonatal intensive care unit visiting times are unrestricted.
‘We are sensitive to specific situations regarding pregnancy loss, stillbirth and unexpected complications and we have adapted our visiting restrictions in these situations,’ it added.
‘All patients who receive a pregnancy loss diagnosis are to be offered the opportunity for her partner to attend at that time. Her partner can attend all subsequent visits.’