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Why is A&E empty but building 4000 people hospitals?

(212 Posts)
Luci459 Wed 01-Apr-20 02:34:07

Been to A&E and it was dead!

Went to a children's hospital and it was also dead. We were the only people in there.

The media are saying the hospitals are over run? Groups of nurses and doctors huddling round in the hospitals I was in.

mrbob Wed 01-Apr-20 02:38:36

Well it depends where you are! Some places have more cases than others. Where there are not lots of corona cases everyone will be avoiding hospitals unless absolutely essential. The cases aren’t spread evenly over the country

ArriettyJones Wed 01-Apr-20 02:40:23

They are trying to keep COVID patients separate from other patients.

(If procedure is followed) COVID won’t be admitted through A&E.

The NHS are actively trying to discourage anyone unnecessarily attending ANY clinic or hospital, because of lockdown and social distancing.

The huge capacity, temporary, “Nightingale” hospitals are for COVID patients only, to be used at an anticipated peak we haven’t reached yet.

Which bit has confused you?

Welcometothequiz Wed 01-Apr-20 02:40:30

All the people with a grazed finger are too scared to go in?

Think they're preparing for the onslaught and getting as many patients out as possible tbh. Think of those awful tents in Italy? The Excel hospital looks incredible. Would be fantastic if it never got used, perhaps check back in a month and we'll see

Luci459 Wed 01-Apr-20 02:41:40

Interesting. I wonder if all the time wasters are staying home now ?

SpoonBlender Wed 01-Apr-20 02:44:30

I think that's a lot of it! Not just the time wasters though, everyone wants to avoid going to a hospital that might well be full of COVID-19 cases.

Blizzardwhizard Wed 01-Apr-20 02:44:46

All the time wasters are staying at home.

But doctors have said please , if your Ill, and you would normally go to A&E, then please go to hospital...

People dying because they dont want to go there and catch covid-19

CoffeeRunner Wed 01-Apr-20 02:46:16

Well. I work in a hospital in a city. For a couple of weeks we have had a very quiet A&E (compared to normal) and empty beds on some non- Covid wards.

The problem is the rate of admissions of patients with either suspected or confirmed Covid-19. These patients aren’t lingering in A&E. They are going to Covid wards. The Covid wards are getting full & another ward them has to be turned into a Covid ward to cope. Our hospital is now doing very little else. More & more wards are becoming full of Covid-19 patients. Other services are being cancelled (where possible) or transferred elsewhere within the trust.

The temporary hospitals are being prepared to accommodate the Covid-19 patients when hospitals such as ours run out of wards to put them on. And that’s not far away.

Yes A&E is quiet. But that’s not the whole picture.

Blizzardwhizard Wed 01-Apr-20 02:46:23

I probably should go to the hospital but i wont.
I dont want to catch Covid-19

frillyfarmer Wed 01-Apr-20 02:47:18

Because actually when there is the chance of contracting a life threatening disease, people are less inclined to chill their bones in A&E for shits and giggles? I suppose we will see over the next week or so just how necessary the new hospitals are. Sadly, I think it will be "very".

CoffeeRunner Wed 01-Apr-20 02:49:20

Also, yes, as PPs have said, in some cases time wasters are being deterred. In others, genuinely unwell people are being deterred.

I do worry about the amount of vulnerable people we are going to find dead in their own homes when this is all over. People who neighbours thought nothing of not seeing for a few weeks as naturally assumed they were self isolating/shielding.

DustyMaiden Wed 01-Apr-20 02:49:56

I would imagine there are fewer injuries with no sport or pub.

Luci459 Wed 01-Apr-20 02:52:08

Do you think the hospitals will fill?!

I wonder how long we will need to isolate for

nestisflown Wed 01-Apr-20 02:57:05

My friend is an a&e doctor and she said in a normal week she'd deal with a few heart attacks. But for the past 3 weeks she's had none. So she's worried that people are so scared to go to the hospital that there are people with genuine need for urgent treatment dying at home. Right now though it's quiet for her (luckily as she doesn't even have a face mask), but that's not the case for the rest of the hospital wards treating coronavirus patients.

FinnegansWhiskers Wed 01-Apr-20 03:00:39

All those who couldn’t get to see their GP today with minor illnesses have stayed away from A&E just in case they pick up something life threatening.

It won’t be long before we have children suffering with “emergency” symptoms, such as a cough, running around A&E again

CoffeeRunner Wed 01-Apr-20 03:00:47

Yes OP. From what I’m seeing & given that we are not even at peak yet, I think there’s every chance these hospitals will fill.

And also that they will be pretty surreal places to work in.

CoffeeRunner Wed 01-Apr-20 03:01:55

@FinnegansWhiskers ah yes, the cough they have had for 3 weeks but which is now deemed an emergency.

FinnegansWhiskers Wed 01-Apr-20 03:04:00

Yes @CoffeeRunner that’s the one

RU562341 Wed 01-Apr-20 03:05:28

They want to move patients out of the major London hospitals to there to ease pressure before it gets to boiling point.
I did wonder if they will take from other areas surrounding London as well. The commuter counties are probably going to be in trouble soon too.

trixiebelden77 Wed 01-Apr-20 03:11:01

I guess all the doctors, nurses and statisticians are hysterical liars and actually everything is fine.

Or, I suppose, you could think for a moment and work out that ED is difficult to quarantine so covid suspect pts needing oxygen are admitted straight through to the appropriate wards or ICU, that a large number of people who would previously go to ED for both legitimate and spurious reasons are now too scared to present, and that capacity is being increased for estimated peaks based on expert modelling and is not necessary full during the exact time period you were in ED.

safariboot Wed 01-Apr-20 03:19:18

Exponential growth. Double the cases every few days, it quickly ramps up. Diseases aren't exponential forever - the virus soon finds itself transmitted to people who are already infected or immune - but in the early phase it means cases rise rapidly.

If A&E's quiet, keep in mind many things that send people to A&E have wound down. Bars and clubs are shut so far fewer drink-related accidents, less driving means less RTAs, no gyms and sports is another cause of injuries not happening.

Lweji Wed 01-Apr-20 03:29:05

Whatever happens, A&E is not a measure of how full a hospital is.

Bubblebu Wed 01-Apr-20 03:37:03

I do find the NHS confusing at the moment.
I was given surgery for cancer on 10 March with no caveats.
Since then it has only really been last Friday 27th March that my cancer nurse started to dial down on our phone calls her suggesting I should come into hospital for some post cancer care.
I've had a temperature and she told me to take my temperature every day and email it to her. I did not do that because I suspected she might be re deployed to care for C19 patients.
Yet this morning she was phoning me 3 times and left me messages on my landline and my mobile saying "where is your email with your temperature readings" etc. I just don't understand why - is she twiddling her thumbs? I really don't want to waste her time.
In normal days of course I would have sent her my readings and if she said so I would have travelled into hospital as requested for post cancer care.
It is so confusing trying to second guess what the NHS is doing and what is deemed serious and what is not.

jdisjj Wed 01-Apr-20 03:37:30

Everything possible has been redirected out of a&e in many trusts.
For example, if you turn up with a child/bone/soft tissue/eye/minor injury problem in my trust, you will be redirected to somewhere else in the hospital to see the specialist directly rather than go through a&e first. That would make up a significant proportion of a&e patients.

And then as other people say, people are staying at home with clearly life threatening things out of fear of covid.

Lastly, most A&Es have now split themselves in half into 'clean' (unlikely covid) and 'dirty' (likely covid)- so unless there with likely covid you will have been deliberately kept separate from all the ?covid patients and may have missed a relatively busy 'dirty' a&e.

cocoaweebles Wed 01-Apr-20 03:40:30

It won’t be long before we have children suffering with “emergency” symptoms, such as a cough, running around A&E again

Oh yes, the cough that signifies an asthma attack...not all asthma patients wheeze biscuit

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