by Sinéad O'Halloran, Consultatn Pharmacist Critical Care, Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust
The first critical care COVID 19 patient arrived on our ward on 7th March. By Monday 23rd March we had more than double the usual number of ventilated patients at both of our hospitals. There seems to be a clearly recognisable pattern, patients in their 50s and 60s with single organ failure, presenting with a history of fever, and flu like symptoms. Patients are acutely hypoxaemic, and many required proning. On critical care, side rooms and negative pressure rooms quickly became full and ventilated patients were then cohorted in open ward areas. All staff entering COVID areas require varying degrees of PPE and this has been also been an area of challenge.