A NURSE on the frontlines in the fight against coronavirus has given a harrowing account of working 13 hours shifts on a “battlefield” ICU ward.
Maria Lizcano Gómez, a recovery nurse at London’s Royal Brompton Hospital, is currently working in intensive care as the country battles to beat the pandemic.
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She told the Mirror that despite loving her jobs and colleagues “something is not right and I feel it as soon as I step on to my unit.”
Maria, who has spent the past two weeks helping COVID-19 patients, said that while all the staff are “calm” on the outside, inside they are all “panicking”.
After her first day dealing with the outbreak last month, she said: “It is like being on a battlefield.”
Maria said Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – which includes gloves and masks – is “ claustrophobic” and “isn't easy” wearing for 13 hours straight.
She said: “By the end of my shift, my nose and cheeks are sore and red.”
On her day off on March 26, Maria revealed she was so “dehydrated and exhausted” her boyfriend had to phone the emergency services after she felt dizzy and lay down.
'DEHYDRATED AND EXHAUSTED'
Maria said: “I have not drunk enough water over the past three days.
"My mum is worried about me. While I am on the phone to her, in the park walking my dog, I suddenly feel dizzy.”
After lying down, she said: “The living room is spinning like I am drunk – I wish that’s what it was.”
Her partner and friend phone NHS 111 but are unable to get through because the lines are so busy.
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She falls asleep and returns to do a night shift the next day.
Maria said the ICU beds have webcams on the beds so family members can watch their loved ones.
Coronavirus is so contagious that patients who die in intensive care are not able to say goodbye to their families in person.
The brave nurse says that during a day shift on March 31, staff are sent an email from bosses warning “the worst is still to come.”
She said: “I realise then it’s been two weeks since I started working with Covid-19 patients and the future is very, very uncertain.”
This comes as two NHS nurses have died from coronavirus – robbing six children of their hero mothers.
Aimee O'Rourke, 38, and Areema Nasreen, 36, sadly passed away after the pair were both treating patients.
Ms Nasreen, a mum-of-three who had no underlying health issues, died this morning where she worked at Walsall Manor Hospital in the West Midlands – after her sister urged everyone to "take this seriously".
Her death came just hours after fellow nurse and mum-of-three Ms O'Rourke, 38, died at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, Kent, where she worked.
A third nurse is today being treated in intensive care at Southend Hospital in Essex. The man, in his 60s, is on a ventilator.
And on Friday night, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that two other healthcare workers had sadly passed away.
Meanwhile, The Sun is launching a £1million appeal to give all NHS frontline staff help they desperately require during this crisis.
Our Who Cares Wins App-eal aims to get vital support to staff — from providing food and care packs to giving them somewhere to sit and rest.
We have teamed up with NHS Charities Together in its urgent Covid-19 Appeal to make sure your money gets to health workers who need it.
And to start the ball rolling, The Sun — which each year celebrates our amazing hospital workers in our Who Cares Wins Awards — is donating £50,000.
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