A lecturer at UCC who has recently returned to Cork University Hospital (CUH) to help out on the frontline is urging the public to "really respect level 5” as the hospital continues to feel the impact of Covid-19.
Dr Anglea Flynn was an ICU nurse before she entered the academic field and has recently rejoined the frontline at the hospital.
Speaking on The 96 FM Opinion Line with PJ Coogan, she said that after seeing and hearing about the pressure that hospitals are currently under, she felt the need to go and help out.
“Not that I didn’t have plenty to do be doing, we’re very, very busy in UCC [University College Cork]. We’re trying to continue with all our programmes online and supporting all our students and of course, our nursing students are under particular pressure," she said.
Dr Flynn said that she helped out during the first lockdown, but that the situation is very different this time.
She noted that the age range of the patients is much younger than during the first lockdown in Ireland and said that her colleagues are “exhausted”.
As of 8 pm on Monday, there was a total of 124 patients with Covid-19 being treated at CUH and on Sunday, there were 23 Covid-19 patients in need of critical care.
Over the weekend, more than 70 doctors and nurses responded to a call by CUH to redeploy staff to its ICU.
Dr Flynn said it can be “disheartening” for staff to see people ignore restrictions and implored people to stay at home, wash their hands, open their windows and to “take all public health messages on board and really respect level 5”.
“It does not look anything like a level 5 lockdown should look like and that’s really soul-destroying for the people that are working and sweating – and boy do you sweat in that PPE. It’s very tough” she said.
“We have a finite number of ICU beds and if we don’t get the level of transmission that’s going on in the community down, we will reach the point where we go beyond the surge capacity of the ICUs around the country,” added Dr Flynn.