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Yvonne Grant Guest Blog: Visiting Hospital During Covid19

  • Posted on Apr 21, 2020

I think there is a huge anxiety around this Covid-19 Virus and whether or not you should take the chance of going to hospital for an emergency, be it a fracture or otherwise.

As you know, I have been in plaster for 16 weeks, after being discharged from hospital on 12th February. Here is my personal story on my follow up treatment at Ninewells Hospital, which took place on the 7th April amid the Coronavirus Crisis.

Getting There

The first step in this process was for me to book an ambulance. I was asked all the relevant questions, such as my CSI number, what is my disability, am I confined to a wheelchair, do I have a cough or cold etc. I was then given a collection slot for pick-up which allowed me to get from my house to the hospital in plenty of time for my appointment.

Once the ambulance arrived, I was able to get myself to the door and made my way to the ambulance using my powerchair, the ambulance crew were all properly equipped with masks and gloves and tried to keep the two-meter distance when possible. The crew let down the ramp for me to easily get into the ambulance and then helped me secure myself into the correct position inside. Once we got to the hospital, one of the crew members checked to see where my clinic had been moved to, and then proceeded to point me in the right direction.

At the Hospital

The main area of where I am normally seen for treatments has been cordoned off- and most of the corridor have private consultation rooms. I then met a nurse who seen me through the first part of my treatment for the day. The room where I received my treatment was a private room with the door shut over, where only me and one staff member were present. Luckily, the nurse was part of my original care team and she was fully equipped with a gown, mask and gloves. We worked on one leg at a time, and I never left my chair the entire time. To minimise contact, I was given a wash cloth and cream and managed to wash and cream my legs myself easily.

Treatments and X-Ray

The next step of my treatment was X-Rays. As soon as I left the original treatment room, it was immediately wiped down, cleaned and the door closed waiting for my return. I was given a ticket and told to follow the arrows to guide myself to the X-Ray department, this was all done by myself therefore minimising any contact with anyone else. The X-Ray was carried out with me never leaving my chair, I managed to move myself to whichever side the X-Ray machine needed. I held the plates myself during the X-Ray and the plates were covered in plastic bags, again showing the high levels of safety and hygiene being carried out throughout the department. During this time, there was loud announcements coming from the corridor every 10 minutes instructing that it was time for the next patient to receive their X-Ray. The staff were incredibly quick and efficient making sure that this was all carried out smoothly and without any patients coming in contact with each other.

After the X-Rays were carried out, I had returned to the original treatment room I first entered, this time with a new nurse and a consultant. Both staff members again were fully gowned and masked and kept the two- meter distance at all times with no physical contact. I also noted that the room smelled fresh with cleaning products and I was assured the room had been cleaned thoroughly for my return from the X-Ray department. The appointment with the consultant lasted around 45 minutes, this was to go over the results of the X-Ray, my new treatment process, exercises and how to correctly use my splits etc. I was then measured for my new splits. After the first split I was measured for didn’t fit correctly, it was decided that I would be given felt braces which I can easily take on and off for exercise- I should have these for around 4-6 weeks.

Finally

Once I was finished, the ambulance was called again and the corridor cleared for me to access the ambulance without coming in contact with any other person. The same process was repeated with staff members masked and minimal contact was carried out throughout.

I have always been taught to be patient and I guess we with Brittle Bones always have to be the “patient, patient.” We are often confined to our homes due to fractures, chest infections or other complications from our condition. This isn’t new to us but the conditions we find ourselves in are different and may be worrying for some.

If my personal experience is anything to go by, I had nothing to worry about. You are unable to wander around the hospital unnecessarily, all shops have been closed and there are no such niceties such as being offered a drink, a biscuit or shaking of hands during this time. I was kept to a very small area of the hospital and unable to leave until I was directed. This is all an efficient way to minimise any risk of the patient coming into contact with the virus and providing a safe experience for everyone.

I can assure you, as a Trustee of the Brittle Society, that staff along with the Medical Advisory Board are ensuring our members are receiving all the latest updates as soon as they are available.

Make sure you are on the at-risk list. (Click here for more information>>) Please make sure you have a food source, either by registering for deliveries for groceries through your letter, or have family/friends who can drop off essentials to your door.

It is important we keep our spirits up during this time so keep up to date with friends, family and the OI community through Zoom or Skype, it’s a great free way to keep in contact with people. See the BBS Virtual Events calendar for the latest schedule. (Click here>>)

Please remember Coreen, the Support Development Officer, is available to answer any queries. You can get in touch by emailing coreen@brittlebone.org or Tel 07507 814290

Remember we are not alone.

Keep safe, stay home and remember to wash your hands!

Blessings

Yvonne Grant

Trustee Brittle Bone Society.