A leading surgeon today fears that cancer operations could be eliminated in the coming days unless the national lockdown quickly curbs the spread of the coronavirus.
Professor Neil Mortensen, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, rang alarm bells today after warning that the situation in hospitals is getting "much worse" and escalating faster than the previously predicted "slow motion car accident".
In addition to mounting warnings, he said other non-Covid treatments such as prosthetic knees may also be suspended as Covid shots escalate.
Dr. Claudia Paoloni, chair of the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association, reiterated his warning today, saying the risk of hospitals becoming overwhelmed in the next few weeks was "very, very high".
King's College hospital in south London has already canceled all priority 2 cancer surgeries. These procedures have been classified as urgent by professionals and must be performed within 28 days of their decision.
It is feared that other hospitals in the country could face the same difficult decision in the coming days if admissions do not decrease.
According to Boris Johnson, health services are already 40 percent more busy than they were during the first wave in April as doctors compare work for the NHS to a war zone.
This came after the UK chief medical officers warned that there was a "material risk" over the next 21 days that the NHS would be overwhelmed.
A top surgeon has warned that those awaiting surgery to treat cancer may stop their surgery due to helical imaging. Above are ambulance workers outside the Royal London Hospital on January 3rd
RECORD NUMBER OF SICK PATIENTS WAITING FOR MORE THAN 12 HOURS ON A STRETCHER
By Eleanor Hayward Health Correspondent for the Daily Mail
Yesterday's NHS figures showed a record number of very sick patients had been waiting for carts in A&E in December.
Health Service Journal data shows that more than 2,930 people have spent at least 12 hours in A&E departments.
Almost half of them were in London.
The highest number of 12-hour trolley wait times to date – the time between arriving at A&E and receiving a bed – was 2,847 in January 2020.
The preliminary numbers – which are likely to rise – are expected to be officially released by NHS England next week.
Adrian Boyle, vice president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, told The Times, “Nobody has to spend 12 hours in an emergency room.
"Not only is it unworthy of patients, but studies have shown that the longer a patient waits to be admitted to a hospital bed, the greater the risk of death."
He added: “These waiting times usually result from a lack of inpatient beds and staff and, in addition to endangering the patient, lead to further dangerous overcrowding and corridor supply in the emergency room.
He said the more patients there are on stretchers, the more difficult it is to deliver care in an already strained A&E.
Professor Mortensen told Times Radio: “My colleagues in London who do station rounds, for example, report that there are problems with the number of staff on the stations and the number of staff in the theaters.
"And if you then have to go to the intensive care unit and the intensive care unit is full of Covid patients, of course there is no place for you."
"So it's a really serious situation and obviously the lower priority surgeries have stopped in many places – hips, knees, ENT (ear, nose and throat) procedures."
"We are now concerned that surgeries like cancer surgeries are canceled or postponed because they simply are unable to manage them."
He added, “I think if you have delayed surgery for cancer it can have an impact.
"If you come in after a traffic accident and are seriously ill and then have to go to an intensive care unit and there is no intensive care unit, the consequences are serious."
“And that's why everyone is so concerned right now that we are properly cordoned off, that we are reducing the transmission of the virus as much as possible and that we are making it possible for which facilities we need to continue to work effectively to keep people alive. & # 39;
Professor Mortensen warned that those waiting for treatments for other diseases will also face cuts in their procedures, adding, “Our hospitals need space to take care of all other things – heart attacks or strokes, Cancer surgery and emergency surgery.
“We have to be able to maintain the capacity for this. And if we don't reduce the transmission of the virus, that capacity won't exist. "
When asked if the NHS can get back to normal business by late spring, he added, "I'm afraid I'm one of the pessimists I think this is going to take a little longer."
"I think we really won't be in better shape (until summer), I'm afraid.
Professor Neil Mortensen, President of the Royal College of Surgeons
"I think it will take a long time. This is a very, very, very serious situation.
"There will be a huge backlog of elective operations and we may also be backlog of more pressing operations to handle. So it's going to be a long, hard winter and spring."
Dr. Paoloni warned on BBC Radio 4's Today program: "We are now in a situation where the risk of overwhelming the NHS in the next few weeks is very, very high.
"We really hope this (lockdown) will prevent an overwhelming."
When asked what overburdened hospitals might look like, she said, “What you see in London, on the news or in the newspapers with ambulances parked and unable to load their patients into accidents and emergencies, could be in anyone Hospitals happen across the country This means anyone with an illness may not have access to the care they need. "
The decision by King's College hospitals to postpone cancer surgeries has raised concerns among staff that some of the affected patients may see their cancers spread, The Guardian reports.
"It is important to treat these cancers within four weeks because they are urgent," a staff member told the newspaper.
“If you postpone cancer surgery for more than four weeks, this cancer can spread. (The delay may mean that) surgery may become inappropriate because surgery cannot get rid of the cancer and therefore the patient's outcome may be worse. & # 39;
King's has confirmed that it has canceled priority 2 cancer surgeries.
A spokesman said: "Due to the surge in the number of patients admitted with Covid-19, including those in need of critical care, we have made the difficult decision to postpone all electoral processes except where a delay is imminent Would cause harm. & # 39;
Boris Johnson envisioned a visit to Chase Farm Hospital in London yesterday
The UK chief medical officers have warned that parts of the NHS are already under "immense pressure" as Covid-19 cases continue to rise.
They raised the alert level to five – the highest – for the first time since the pandemic began, meaning transmission is increasing exponentially and health services may be overwhelmed.
In a letter from the four UK GMOs and NHS England National Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis said before Mr Johnson's address: “On the advice of the Joint Biosecurity Center and given the latest data, the four UK Chief Medical Officers and NHS England Medical Director recommend that the The UK alert should be moved from level 4 to level 5.
“Many parts of the health system in the four countries are already under immense pressure. There are currently very high transmission rates in the community, with significant numbers of Covid patients in hospitals and intensive care units.
“In large parts of the country there are almost everywhere cases that are driven by the new, more transferable variant. We are not confident that the NHS can handle another sustained surge in cases and, without further action, there is a substantial risk of the NHS becoming overwhelmed in several areas over the next 21 days.
“While the NHS is under immense pressure, significant changes have been made to ensure that people can continue to receive life-saving care.
“It is absolutely essential that people still register for emergency care. If you don't need urgent medical attention, please contact your GP or call NHS 111. & # 39;
The Prime Minister sent England into its third lockdown yesterday, with shutdowns also taking place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
On December 29 alone, 80,000 positive cases were recorded, which was seen as key to the Prime Minister's decision to re-draw the curtains for society.
Will canceled cancer operations put life at risk? MOTHER, 40, TELLS HOW POSSIBLE LIFE-SAVING OPERATIONS HAVE BEEN CUT OFF DUE TO COVID-19
Beth Purvis, 40, a paralegal from Essex, was scheduled to have a 19mm tumor removed from her right lung
On March 18, Beth Purvis was due to have a 19 mm tumor removed from her right lung. The surgery was part of a four-year ordeal to keep her advanced colon cancer at bay.
But a week before her potentially life-saving surgery, Beth received a call to tell her that she had been canceled along with all other scheduled surgeries to free up hospital beds for coronavirus patients.
Beth, 40, a paralegal from Essex, spoke to Good Health the day she was due to have surgery and was tearful and scared.
She had meticulously prepared for the day, arranging childcare for eleven-year-old Joseph and ten-year-old Abigail so that her husband Richard, a painter and decorator, could continue working at the hospital.
“I understand that the hospital needs to vacate beds and keep intensive care beds available. But that doesn't make it easier to deal with, ”she says.
“I feel drained trying to balance everything – raising the kids at home, working, and dealing with the emotions that come with not having an operation. The fear of what could happen if I don't get it in time is crippling. "
Beth was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016 and had three surgeries and 26 rounds of chemotherapy.
She had been in remission for a wonderful 14 months before a new tumor was found in her right lung in January.
"Although my life expectancy was uncertain after secondary tumors were discovered, it was stable to know that treatment options were available – this surgery was a lifeline," she says. "But due to Covid-19, I have no idea what will happen next or if there will be treatment as the expertise, resources and equipment will be needed elsewhere."
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) Coronavirus (t) Coronavirus Lockdowns (t) NHS