MEDICAL staff have given an insight into the frontline battle against Covid-19 at hard-hit Inverclyde Royal Hospital in a TV interview.
Scotland Tonight on STV featured Dr Abby Gunn, a stroke consultant, and nurse Eilidh Jack, who have both worked on the frontline at the Greenock hospital throughout the pandemic.
Dr Gunn states that Covid-19 had spread throughout Inverclyde — the area hit hardest by the virus in Scotland with a death rate around twice the national average — a fortnight before the national lockdown.
She says: “Covid arrived early in Inverclyde. Our first case we saw in hospital was tested positive on 12 March –- two weeks ahead of lockdown –- and by that time it had spread through the community.
“With the first wave of patients that we got, there was fear -– fear of the unknown, fear of how bad it was going to be, fear for our patients that weren’t going to make it. What kind of deaths would they have and would we be able to make them feel better and give them a good death?
“As we were early in high peak here, we were very close to being overwhelmed and at one point at the peak of our pandemic there were only Covid patients admitted to the hospital. Every ward and every room that you went to had Covid-19 in the hospital.
“We saw this coming months in advance, yet we were still doing some of the real-time planning after we had the first positive case. I think it’s a real lesson about global health.”
Ms Jack adds: “Within Inverclyde, we seemed to be hit quick, and there was unprecedented numbers within Inverclyde even before lockdown.
“At one point, we were nearly at capacity within the intensive care unit and that brought a lot of worry. Where would other patients go if they had to be admitted? Everybody was stressed – they were worried about their family and worried about what they would come into.
“It was so different to what we were used to. We didn’t really have a lot of information. We were taking a lot of information from other countries around the world, so we didn’t really know what to expect.