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Hospital better prepared for Covid-19

Significant progress on preparations for an influx of Covid-19 patients has been made at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, its chief of staff said.

Michael Richmond explained that the Bermuda Hospitals Board had planned for the worst.

He said on Sunday that there were two patients with Covid-19 who were being treated “in the appropriate environment”.

Dr Richmond added: “They're being cared for by the appropriately trained staff and in terms of the support they're getting, I believe that Bermuda is well-endowed with the healthcare professionals that work across Bermuda, not just within the hospital but within the community sector.

“I think it would be fair to say that I think our developments have been proportionate but also anticipatory.

“We are planning, obviously, for the worst but we are making extremely good progress at this time.”

He said that preparations included talks with staff to make sure they were aware of their responsibilities and on how some skills that “currently might be dormant” could be used for frontline care.

Dr Richmond added a training programme had been launched to improve the skills of clinical services staff.

He said “very good provision” had been made for oxygen in the acute care wing which was “the mainstay of any treatment for patients who arrive in the hospital who are seriously ill'.

He added: “That provision of oxygen is sufficient, I believe, to in fact double or even treble against what may be seen as a normal daily requirement.

“That puts us in a strong position.”

Dr Richmond said a triage centre with a negative pressure tent at the point of arrival for patients to help protect healthcare workers would be set up.

He added: “The hospital itself is extremely well-endowed with negative pressure capability.

“Negative pressure capability stops the spread of particles or the virus out of individual private rooms.”

An extra 48 beds arrived at the hospital last week[Mar 23], to boost the 120 acute care beds already available.

Dr Richmond said that drug stocks were “appropriate” with about three months' worth of reserves.

But he added that some stocks of medicines could come under pressure if there was a major increase in demand so the hospital was working to boost supplies.

Dr Richmond said the island was “well served” in terms of ventilator capacity.

He explained there was a nine-bed intensive care unit, with a ventilator capacity of between 14 and 15 per 100,000 people. Dr Richmond added: “We anticipate as of Friday, with our current stock, that we could ventilate up to 29 patients.”

He said capacity in the UK was about seven ventilators per 100,000 people and Italy had between 12 and 13 for every 100,000 people.

Dr Richmond added: “We are repurposing our operating theatre facility as we speak to be appropriately set up to take this large surge of patients if and when it arrives.”

He said an order was made several weeks ago for eight more ventilators and he had been promised they would arrive by April 17.

Strong position: Michael Richmond, Bermuda Hospitals Board chief of staff speaking at the daily coronavirus press conference (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published April 01, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated April 01, 2020 at 9:00 am)

Hospital better prepared for Covid-19

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