Coronavirus in numbers: 149 UK deaths recorded
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The news comes after a hospital in Florida experienced a sharp rise in COVID-19 patients. Doctors in the hospital in Florida have described being overwhelmed by the need for oxygen machines. Some coronavirus patients at the hospital have been described by desperate medics as the “talking dead” as they give a stark picture of rising cases of the deadly pathogen.
The Tallahassee Memorial Hospital in Flordia now has 135 coronavirus patients which is a rise from 41 last January.
Most of the new patients to arrive have not been vaccinated.
Referring to the oxygen-starved patients at the hospital CNN’s Polo Sandoval said: “Those are patients who are still awake right now, who are still conscious.
“So they are having these very difficult conversations with their doctors and their nurses, and facing that very tough reality that if that life-sustaining equipment that’s breathing for them is removed, as this hospital official described it for me, they could be dead in a matter of minutes.”
The Florida hospital’s top clinical officer Ryan Smith, has also been working as a nurse to better understand the crisis.
He described the torment of taking patients off their oxygen machine assistance.
Mr Smith said: “The first part of my shift, I had my first few patients look at me and say, ‘don’t let me die’.
“As soon as you remove them from the devices they no longer made it.
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“To watch how quickly they dwindle down is the hardest thing for me.”
When a patient is gradually eased off the assisted oxygen, then the patients often deteriorate quickly.
Dr Smith said: “The ‘talking dead’ didn’t make sense to me until I saw it firsthand.
“It’s how quickly they decompensate when they don’t have that oxygen.”
He said people need to know the virus “is real”.
He added that it “impacts a lot more people than it should”.
Florida governor Ron DeSantis attempted to ban school districts from having the power to enforce mask-wearing.
However, the ban was overturned by a judge.
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