The Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK- at a Local, National and International level perspective from the Emergency Department
Context: There is a significant burden on all emergency services in the management and prevention of the novel COVID-19 transmission. The effects are felt right across the World with certain geographical areas being most affected, it has affected all countries irrespective of their healthcare infrastructure. It has been suggested that certain parts of World that are prone to natural disasters are better prepared for pandemics. However, this is completely unfound as major economies are overwhelmed with the effects of the COVID-19 and it becomes completely irrelevant of any past experiences as these have been in never seen before scale. Evidence acquisition: The national fight against COVID-19 has been dubbed as the greatest fight for the National Health Service (NHS) with the entire United Kingdom under lockdown and the unfamiliar situation not seen before in peacetime. The general understanding of the disease process is that it has profound effects on the elderly and those with significant underlying health conditions such as cardiovascular, respiratory amongst others. However, it has surfaced from time to time that the very young are being affected and at times unfortunately been fatal. Results/Measures: The United Kingdom has been in a lockdown just like several nations across the globe in a desperate measure to limit the spread of the virus. There have been weeks of planning at every level for all possible eventualities with regards to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. All routine operations and procedures have been cancelled only procedures that emergency life and limb saving and cancer surgery continue to take place in hospitals all across the hospitals in the NHS. Widespread measures such as social distancing, calling a dedicated helpline for information and advice rather than attending the nearest Emergency Department have led to a significant number of presentations to the Emergency Department. Conclusions: The main concerns that remains for the NHS and other countries that have been affected is that once the lockdown restrictions are slowly eased will lead to a significant resurgence of cases that will overwhelm their respective healthcare infrastructures. From a clinician perspective, the main concern is the potential late presentations of the acutely unwell patients. This is the sentiment that is likely to be felt by many of my critical care colleagues working across NHS hospitals.
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3. Worldometer [Available at: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/].
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