Inside Health - The Virus [Inside Health]

Episodes

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01Dispatches From University Hospital Southampton; Covid-19 And Loss Of Smell; Intensive Care Access; Coronavirus Home Care2020033120200401 (R4)

When hospitals are full of patients, they're said to be "hot". The coronavirus crisis will push up the temperature of hospitals across the UK and in the first in a special series of weekly dispatches from the medical front line, producer Erika Wright will be taking the temperature of University Hospital Southampton - or The General - in Hampshire (which services almost two million people in the south of England) as they cope with the influx of Covid-19 patients. In this first dispatch, Erika talks to the Divisional Director for Medicine, Dr Trevor Smith, who says as patients have been moved out of this large teaching hospital to make space for coronavirus patients, the hospital's current temperature reading is "cold", but all staff know that this will soon change.

This virus is deeply frightening for everybody, but often for older people and those with underlying health conditions it is even worse. The fear is that if hospitals are overflowing, then crude cut-offs by, for example, age, might determine who does or doesn't, get a a bed in intensive care. But Dr Mark Roberts, consultant in acute and geriatric medicine and chair of the British Geriatric Society in Northern Ireland, tells Claudia that health care professionals don't and wouldn't make such arbitrary decisions based on age. Instead, he says, decisions about access to intensive care beds (or in-patient care) will continue to be made at the bedside, with compassion, and with a focus on who has the greatest capacity to benefit.

Some people have already decided that they won't go to hospital if NHS services are overwhelmed but they do want reassurance that they would get urgent care at home should they become seriously ill. Retired GP Dr Lyn Jenkins has written to the Prime Minister calling for this to be addressed as a priority. He's in good health, only 69 years old, but believes that he has a moral obligation not to use up scarce hospital resources if critical care beds can be given to younger people. For those who need it, he wants a quick response team to bring pain relief and supplementary oxygen and importantly, the presence of another person, a carer, so people who were very sick wouldn't be alone.

GP and Inside Health regular Dr Margaret McCartney talks to Claudia about supplies of personal protective equipment and whether long-promised supplies are finally arriving and she delves into the evidence to find out whether the loss of a sense of smell or taste could be a symptom of coronavirus. Listener Rachel says she can't smell cheese, garlic or lavender oil and she's worried that she could have the virus.

Producer: Fiona Hill

Claudia Hammond reports on the unfolding coronavirus pandemic.

Series that demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

02Covid-19 And Moral Injury Asthma Southampton Update Mental Health Services2020040720200408 (R4)

Claudia Hammond reports on Covid-19 and "moral injury" - when the virus peaks, some healthcare staff will find themselves in a situation never faced before, forced to make decisions they would never normally have to make. This puts them at risk of a so-called “moral injury ? which might harm their mental health. It’s more often associated with life in the armed services and Neil Greenberg, Professor of Defence Mental Health at Kings College London, explains how he's applying lessons from research in the military to support staff starting work at the new Nightingale Hospital in London. And some of the million recipients of letters saying they should shield themselves by not going out at all for 12 weeks are people who have asthma. Margaret McCartney examines the evidence for how those with asthma receiving letters were selected. Plus the latest dispatch from University Hospital Southampton: consultant Chris Hill explains that the emergency department has been split into Red and Blue areas based on the probability of arrivals having Covid-19. And what’s happening to mental health services during this time of crisis when seeing someone face-to-face needs to be avoided as much as possible? Claudia finds out from psychiatrist Dr Sri Kalidindi.

Producer: Erika Wright

Claudia Hammond on moral injury, asthma, a Southampton update, and mental health services.

Series that demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

Claudia Hammond reports on Covid-19 and "moral injury" - when the virus peaks, some healthcare staff will find themselves in a situation never faced before, forced to make decisions they would never normally have to make. This puts them at risk of a so-called “moral injury” which might harm their mental health. It’s more often associated with life in the armed services and Neil Greenberg, Professor of Defence Mental Health at Kings College London, explains how he's applying lessons from research in the military to support staff starting work at the new Nightingale Hospital in London. And some of the million recipients of letters saying they should shield themselves by not going out at all for 12 weeks are people who have asthma. Margaret McCartney examines the evidence for how those with asthma receiving letters were selected. Plus the latest dispatch from University Hospital Southampton: consultant Chris Hill explains that the emergency department has been split into Red and Blue areas based on the probability of arrivals having Covid-19. And what’s happening to mental health services during this time of crisis when seeing someone face-to-face needs to be avoided as much as possible? Claudia finds out from psychiatrist Dr Sri Kalidindi.

Claudia Hammond reports on the unfolding coronavirus pandemic.

03Covid-19 Drug Trial; Mental Health Alone; Southampton Update; Antarctica's Lockdown Lessons2020041420200415 (R4)

A range of potential treatments have been suggested for Covid-19 but nobody knows if any of them will turn out to be more effective in helping people recover than the usual standard hospital care which all patients will receive. Inside Health regular Dr Margaret McCartney talks to Claudia about how the first randomised trials are now setting out to test some of these suggested treatments with unprecedented speed and adaptability as potential new drug candidates emerge.

During lockdown some find their mental health is put at higher risk. Katie Connebear is a mental health campaigner and blogger who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder eight years ago. She has experienced psychotic episodes and has coping strategies in place for when she feels her mental health deteriorating. She offers her thoughts on how to make small progressive steps in the absence of family and friends who she normally relies on when times are difficult.

We’ve the latest in Inside Health’s regular visits to test the temperature at Southampton General Hospital. During the current pandemic maternity wards have to make sure that the birth of babies happens in a way that keeps expectant mothers, their birth partners and staff safe from the virus. Government advice includes pregnant women in the “vulnerable group" who need to take extra steps to socially distance, with extra attention after 28 weeks. Consultant obstetrician Jo Mountfield is keen to allay pregnant women’s concerns.

And with isolation set to continue, we can also learn from people who have lived in a different kind of lockdown – and one that was in many ways more extreme. Beth Healey is an intensive care doctor currently working in Switzerland who spent 14 months at Concordia research station in the Antarctic, investigating how the team coped with living in such an isolated environment She reveals the similarities in life there and life under lockdown here.

Producer Adrian Washbourne

Claudia Hammond reports on the first drug trials for the treatment of Covid-19.

Series that demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

Claudia Hammond reports on the unfolding coronavirus pandemic.

04Southampton Update; Health Anxiety; Death Certifications; Fast-track Drug Screening2020042120200422 (R4)

Claudia Hammond reports on the unfolding coronavirus pandemic.

Series that demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

Southampton update, health anxiety, death certifications and fast-track drug screening.

05Smoking Vs Covid-19; Non-urgent Treatments; Loneliness Surveys; Southampton Update, Covid And The Law.2020042820200429 (R4)

Claudia Hammond on smoking and Covid-19, lockdown loneliness surveys, and clinical law.

Series that demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

06Diabetes And Covid-19; Southampton Critical Care; Antigen Tests; Cytokine Storm2020050520200506 (R4)

Why do people with diabetes get so sick with Covid-19 and how can they protect themselves?

Series that demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

Claudia Hammond reports on the unfolding coronavirus pandemic.

07Acute Kidney Injury With Covid-19; Passive Immunisation; Online Gps; Face Mask Interactions2020051220200513 (R4)

Acute Kidney Injury & Covid-19; passive immunisation; online GPs; face mask interactions.

Series that demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

Claudia Hammond reports on the unfolding coronavirus pandemic.

08Longest Stay Covid-19 Patient; Health Inequalities; Agoraphobia; Covid-19 Testing2020051920200520 (R4)

Claudia Hammond on the longest stay COVID-19 case; Health Inequalities; Agoraphobia.

Series that demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

Claudia Hammond reports on the unfolding coronavirus pandemic.

09Shielding; Pandemic Lexicon; Southampton Hospital; Doctor Rejects Nhs Superhero Tag2020052620200527 (R4)

Millions are 'shielding' from the virus. Tanya on the reality of long-term lockdown.

Series that demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

Claudia Hammond reports on the unfolding coronavirus pandemic.