Tag Archives: ventilator

Parents are having to re-use ventilator parts for their sick children because of Tory Covid-19 failures

No ventilator for you: the government is continuing to ensure that only able-bodied people with coronavirus can have access to a ventilator. The rest can die as a result of the Tories’ refusal to make proper preparations at the appropriate time.

Children are suffering again because the Conservative government is incompetent.

Back at the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis we learned that, despite having been warned that a flu or flu-like pandemic was on its way and they should stock up on ventilator equipment, successive Tory governments under David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson ignored the advice.

They didn’t buy ventilators, causing a crippling shortage of equipment when the inevitable happened and the virus hit us.

Then, when the EU generously offered Boris Johnson a chance to join a bulk-buying scheme that would have brought much-needed ventilators into the UK, he refused. His reason? “We are not in the EU.”

Pathetic.

Here’s the result:

(The Dyson ventilators never happened; the Tory government told the company its services were not required.)

Johnson was then able to treat the lack of ventilators as a golden opportunity to rid the UK of some of the “useless eaters” (as I’m sure the Tories call them, picking up on Nazi terminology). So people with disabilities were told they would be denied ventilators if they caught Covid-19, the excuse being that their disabilities mean their chances of survival are less.

Senior citizens faced the same discrimination.

Now the Tory decision is making children suffer as well.

Child malnutrition has already at least doubled since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK. Now this:

Parents of children reliant upon ventilators are being asked to reuse vital parts after the demand caused by COVID-19 created a shortage.

Maisie Lossau, 15, has needed the equipment day and night following surgery to remove a brainstem tumour four years ago.

But when her mother, Dawn, put in an order for supplies she was told there were none to send.

“We have a very small piece of equipment which is called an HME, which is a humidification valve, changed every day.

“When we went into lockdown we were told there was a shortage of those and we would have to change them on a less regular basis… once a week maybe or twice a week if we could.

If that gets too wet, too damp, and we don’t change it, it becomes a breeding ground for germs.”

The danger then is infection.

There are more than 3,000 seriously ill children like Maisie across the country and the charity WellChild says supplies must be ring-fenced for them.

The government has dissembled; it won’t address the subject directly.

So a statement merely says: “We have put in place a range of measures to address these challenges, including making it easier for clinicians to report shortages and identifying opportunities to open up new supply options and using additional brands.”

The Tories said nothing about actually supplying the equipment. We must conclude that they have no intention to do so.

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Tory war on the disabled intensifies as people with muscular dystrophy are denied ventilators

No ventilator for you: it seems the government is ensuring that only able-bodied people with coronavirus can have access to a ventilator. The rest can die as a result of the Tories’ refusal to make proper preparations at the appropriate time.

If the Conservative government had made proper preparations for a pandemic, people with illnesses like muscular dystrophy would not be denied treatment now.

But the Tories didn’t make proper preparations. Did they always intend to deprive those of us with long-term illnesses and disabilities of treatment?

And will it put these lives in danger? If so, when will the mainstream media pay attention to the harm being done as a consequence of this failure by a Conservative government?

The lives of people with muscular dystrophy are being risked because NHS trusts like Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust (RBHFT) are prioritising non-disabled people with COVID-19 over those with long-term health conditions.

(Remember that disabled people with Covid-19 are still likely to have “Do Not Attempt Resuscitation” orders hanging over them and are therefore unlikely to see a ventilator either.)

The trust has told people with muscular dystrophy that it will no longer supply them with replacement anti-bacterial filters for the ventilators that keep them alive because stocks are running low and they are being reserved for patients with coronavirus.

(I’m not convinced about this. Covid-19 is a virus – so what good will anti-bacterial filters do?)

If it doesn’t seem clear to you that the Conservatives are using the coronavirus crisis to wage war on people with disabilities, consider the following information from Disability News Service:

It is the latest in a series of cases in which NHS managers or healthcare professionals have appeared to discriminate against disabled people with long-term conditions during the pandemic crisis.

Among incidents that have caused concern have been a care company that said GPs had written to three of its services for people with learning difficulties to say they had decided that all their service-users should be deemed “do not resuscitate” if they became ill with coronavirus.

Another was a Welsh GP surgery which wrote to patients with life-limiting conditions asking if they could complete “do not attempt resuscitation” (DNAR) forms on their behalf, partly so that “scarce ambulance resources can be targeted to the young and fit”.

DNS reported in March how the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence had been forced to update guidance on which coronavirus patients should receive intensive care treatment, after concerns raised by disabled activists.

The previous week, DNS had revealed how an NHS critical care consultant appeared to suggest publicly that he and his colleagues would not attempt to resuscitate many older and disabled people if they became seriously ill with coronavirus.

But with coroners being told to ignore the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) in coronavirus-related inquests, what’s to stop the government telling them to ignore the refusal to provide proper care to people with disabilities?

How many people will have to die before the obvious connections are made?

Source: NHS trust tells people with muscular dystrophy: ‘We’re keeping your ventilator filters for patients with coronavirus’ – Disability News Service

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Coronavirus: Disabled people to be denied ventilators as NHS imposes rationing

Not enough ventilators: is Boris Johnson using the fact that he deliberately chose not to stock up on these vital items of equipment as an excuse to ensure that disabled people die of coronavirus?

The lack of ventilators in the National Health Service means they will be provided to people on the basis of their chance of survival. If you are disabled, this means: NOT YOU.

As I reported – only yesterday (March 29) – hospitals in the United States are already doing this, and the guidance they have been given means people with Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism and other disabilities simply won’t get a look-in.

Personally, I have to question whether Boris Johnson was aiming for this – or something like it – from the moment he was first told about Covid-19. Consider:

That’s right: that recommendation to buy ventilators and protective equipment was ignored because they cost too much.

Johnson’s first briefing about the disease was in November last year. He did nothing.

According to Simon Wren-Lewis’s Mainly Macro and an article in The Times, “Chris Whitty warned the cabinet in January that other countries might experience this pandemic, but Boris Johnson’s instincts were to resist a life changing crackdown, and Dominic Cummings agreed.” They did nothing.

“It seems that so convinced were both politicians that nothing needed to be done that they failed to do what any good politician should do, and plan for contingencies. The time that was lost in those days before the “herd immunity” strategy was changed is the key to why so many things have gone so horribly wrong since.

“These range from minor, like Johnson continuing to shake hands, to critical failings like not ramping up testing capacity (the UK was among the first to develop a test, but is testing far fewer than other countries), not ordering more ventilators until dangerously late, a failure to deliver protective equipment to all doctors and nurses well before they were needed and the complete failure to quickly unroll a public information campaign.”

Here’s the relevant part of the Times article:

Johnson was warned to take action by The Lancet on January 24 and he did nothing.

When the virus hit the UK, he did as little as he could – and made no contingency plans.

Here’s Mainly Macro again: “Even after 16th March the Prime Minister followed the suppression strategy in a half hearted manner. What he should have done, as soon as was possible, was to impose something close to the maximum degree of suppression immediately. Instead it came in a piecemeal fashion: The Prime Minister kept saying “when the time was right” at his press conferences. Instead of trying to get the pandemic under control as soon as possible, it seemed he was trying to squash the curve by just enough to ensure hospitals were not overrun.”

And now we don’t have enough equipment to treat everybody who needs it, and people with disabilities are set to die.

That’s after 10 years in which people with disabilities were systematically demonised, othered and persecuted by Conservative and Conservative-led governments.

As Mainly Macro states, “No scientist would want to stop a government, on seeing the first cases of COVID-19 in the UK in mid-February, distributing PPE equipment to medics, ordering new ventilators and ramping up testing capacity. That this didn’t happen in the UK until mid-March is, as the Lancet suggests, a national scandal.”

But it is possible that – if the only victims are people with disabilities – that scandal will be ignored. How do you feel about that?

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Will the UK follow America and abandon people with disabilities to die of coronavirus?

A ventilator: The NHS in the UK doesn’t have enough of these to cater for the number of people likely to need them. Will people with disabilities be passed over because of Tory prejudice?

Boris Johnson and his Tories like to copy what happens in the United States – and they already have a record for persecuting disabled people.

So what would you give for the chances of people with Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism or any of the other reasons for receiving Personal Independence Payment, knowing that the US is letting them die of coronavirus?

Read:

New guidance published Alabama officials says that ‘persons with severe mental retardation, advanced dementia or severe traumatic brain injury may be poor candidates for ventilator support.’

It goes on to say that ‘persons with severe or profound mental retardation, moderate to severe dementia, or catastrophic neurological complications such as persistent vegetative state are unlikely candidates for ventilator support.’

Similar guidance has been issued in Washington and Arizona, with medics in the latter state instructed to ‘allocate resources to patients whose need is greater or whose prognosis is more likely to result in a positive outcome with limited resources.’

Disability advocacy groups have now filed complaints against the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for further clarification on the often vague guidance, and are seeking assurance that disabled people will not be discriminated against when it comes to receiving emergency care.

Too late – the discrimination is already happening.

In the United Kingdom, the NHS doesn’t have enough ventilators to go around so it is entirely logical to expect the Tories to ration them.

This Writer has a terrible feeling disabled people are already being passed over – or the orders may already be in place – in the UK.

I would appreciate any information from people who experience such prejudice.

Source: People with Down syndrome could be left to die of coronavirus to ‘save’ supplies | Metro News

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Don’t blame Tory ventilator failure on Brexit – it was simple incompetence

Sorry if it’s off-message but This Writer is entirely willing to believe the Tory government’s reason for failing to join a European Union scheme to provide ventilators during the coronavirus crisis.

Some have claimed that the failure to join an EU scheme was a result of Brexit-related prejudice, but this doesn’t ring true.

The announcement that the government had decided to pursue its own scheme smacks of an organisation trying to save face after making a serious mistake – and this is borne out by the later admission that emails from the EU about the scheme had been lost in the government’s system.

(I don’t believe the government didn’t get those emails; it’s far more likely that they simply weren’t redirected to the right people.)

A blunder like that would be entirely in line with Tory behaviour with regard to the coronavirus. I’ve spent most of March 27 writing about failures relating to the various schemes dreamed up by the Tories to cope with the virus and its effects on UK society, which has been almost entirely locked down.

But it didn’t help that they tried to save face with rubbish excuses. Consider this:

Pathetic.

A UK government spokesperson later clarified: “Owing to an initial communication problem, the UK did not receive an invitation in time to join in four joint procurements in response to the coronavirus pandemic.”

And he was then put straight on Twitter:

So, once again, this is a tale of Tory ineptitude and failed attempts to hide it. We had to eliminate the lies to arrive at the fact.

And once again, the fact is that the Tories have stupidly thrown away a chance to get badly-needed ventilators into the UK, quickly. Once again, their stupidity has put lives at risk.

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Coronavirus UK: Are the Tories deliberately trying to increase the hysteria?

Only one element unifies the constant babble about coronavirus from the UK’s Tory government at the moment: it is contradictory, confusing and seems designed to increase hysteria, rather than reduce it.

For a start: what’s with the policy of drip-feeding information via individuals or single media sites, rather than broadcasting updates to everyone in regular press conferences and on the government website?

Today we see Matt Hancock – behind a paywall – on the Torygraph website, contradicting the government’s announcement last week that the Tories would be seeking to establish ‘herd immunity’ by allowing us all to be infected, thereby condemning the oldest and weakest of us to death.

Here is that article in full. The Telegraph‘s owners should be run out of the country for putting profit before lives:

That previous announcement was made by scientific advisor Patrick Vallance. His latest advice is in The Sun. I haven’t seen it because I won’t willingly visit that paper’s website and the physical copies are only good to be snapped up by people who need toilet paper as a result of the government-induced panic-buying we’ve all seen.

Robert Peston has been parrotting information he’s been given. Did he even know it was accurate before he repeated it? My understanding is no.

Is it, as Carole Cadwalladr suggests, an attempt to avoid these leaks being attributed to individual ministers who can then be questioned over the validity of their decisions?

Worse still is the claim that people attacking this strategy are “politicising” the corona crisis.

We had this after This Site pointed out the political implications of the Grenfell Tower inferno, back in 2017. I was vindicated, of course – Grenfell has been a scandal that has rumbled on to this very day.

The simple fact is that coronavirus is already political. As Grace Blakely points out here, people have already died as a result of political decisions and the only question is whether those decisions can reduce the toll.

At the moment, it seems that Boris Johnson and his government, by flip-flopping through the crisis, adopting one strategy for a couple of days and then denying it in favour of another, are doing everything they can to create chaos, boost hysteria and ramp up the human cost.

Consider South Korea, the country generally accepted to have got the best grip on the spread of coronavirus. Here’s Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha explaining to Andrew Marr that testing people for the virus is vital… followed by a tweet showing that the UK government has abandoned that vital testing:

Is this a death sentence for old and vulnerable people?

Oh – and apparently the old and vulnerable could be arrested if they don’t quarantine themselves:

So it seems we’re being faced with a situation in which the people most vulnerable to the virus are being told to hide themselves away from society for weeks at a time.

What happens then? Will we see government vans roaming our streets and suburbs, calling for you to “Bring out your dead”?

There will be a knock-on effect again food banks, most of which have already been harmed by the panic-buying spree:

So the “Bring out your dead” vans will remain gainfully employed, picking up the bodies of the underpaid workers whose wages the Tories have been sitting on for so many years.

Evidence is piling up to show that the National Health Service – weakened to a constant crisis point by 10 years of Tory underfunding – is simply unable to cope with the extra workload of thousands (if not millions) of COVID-19 patients. This is the opinion of the British Medical Association, as you can see here.

Already Hancock has admitted that the service doesn’t have enough ventilators:

So he’s trying to buy some more, or get manufacturers to make them:

But it’s an ill wind that blows no good to anybody: the Tories’ friends in private medicine are set to rake in £2.4 million every day, loaning out 8,000 beds to the NHS.

That’s more than 3,000 fewer beds than the Tories closed between 2010 and 2017 (I have yet to find figures leading up to the present day)!

Meanwhile, the crisis is revealing hard truths about ourselves:

There is only one conclusion to draw from the above: Don’t trust the Tory government. You’ll be putting your life in the hands of people who simply couldn’t care less.

I think it was Tim Fenton, on his Zelo Street blog, who said Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings and their cronies simply aren’t equipped to provide information; they offer information warfare – strong on falsehood and misinformation. And they can’t seem to stop.

Call me a raging conspiracy theorist if you like, but the thought has crossed my mind that everything we’re experiencing right now could be a sign of Johnson putting those eugenics ideas into practise – you know, the ideas about cleaning the gene pool of weaknesses and impurities for which Andrew Sabisky had to resign his job as a government advisor. We have enough evidence to conclude that Johnson supports those views, as does Cummings.

So we can’t trust the government.

How about relying on something we’ve had a lot longer.

Where’s our common sense? People have had to cope with disease epidemics – of this very kind – for centuries. Why not go back to tried-and-trusted remedies, at least while the politicians and the medics try to sort themselves out?

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