Hey everyone, long time lurker here.
I'm a junior doctor in a COVID ICU of one of Sydney's tertiary hospitals.
Wrote this post to hopefully shed some light on what it's like inside the unit, since rarely does the general public have a chance to see or get a feel for what goes on inside the unit.
COVID ICUs are very strictly regulated units - most hospital staff are forbidden to enter (and wouldn't want to be there anyway)
I should probably describe what it's like to be a patient inside COVID ICU.
- there probably aren't good windows, so you don't have much access to natural light and don't know if it's day or night
- we give you dexamethasone which helps reduce the inflammation in your lungs, but it gives you insomnia
- your family cannot visit you at all
- you can't recognise anyone who is coming into your room because of all the PPE we have on
- the usual reason for ICU admissions is oxygen support which can range from uncomfortable (having large volumes of oxygen jetted up your nose - high flow nasal prongs), very very uncomfortable (having pressurised oxygen pushed into you via a tight mask - it feels like trying to breath with your head outside the window of a moving car), or completely intubated.
If there's one thing I want to say, it's please get vaccinated! I have not looked after a single fully vaccinated patient.
If you're in Sydney and eligible for Pfizer and AZ but have to wait 2 weeks for Pfizer, I wouldn't wait.
Some questions I can answer, some questions I can't
I'm studying at the same time as this, so sometimes can take some time to answer, sorry!
Opinions here are my own
Addit - I am closing this AMA, thank you for your questions. There's a number of questions that keep being recycled, which I can't answer eg. Opinion on novel drugs and I am being DM'd for specific health advice. I cannot provide that information to you responsibly on the internet, I am sorry. Please ask your local doctor/attend ED if especially concerned.