I'm an NHS consultant anaesthetist. I see the terror in my Covid patients' eyes


As a hospital consultant working in intensive care, the reality of coronavirus and patients’ fear is brought home to me every day

I’m not ready,” the patient implores me through her CPAP [continuous positive airway pressure] hood. She’s breathing at more than triple her normal rate and I’ve been asked to intubate her as she’s deteriorating, despite three days in intensive care. She is 42 years old.

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There’s terror in her eyes. A tear runs down her cheek. She’s looking at the patient opposite who is in an induced coma, intubated and ventilated, and isn’t doing well.

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