Emotional ICU nurses reveals toughest moment in Covid ward as state records 1,220 new infections
Emotional ICU nurses has revealed their toughest moment in hospital Covid wards as the state records 1,220 new Covid-19 cases and three deaths.
New cases dropped sharply from the latest record of 1,488 set on Saturday, but the outbreak is not expected to have peaked and could go as high as 3,000.
Two frontline nurses working in Covid hospital wards in Melbourne have broken down in tears as they described the heart-wrenching scenes they are facing as Victoria’s battle with the virus continues.
Michelle Spence, the ICU nurse unit manager at Royal Melbourne Hospital, said of none of the 90 people with Covid in the intensive care unit were vaccinated.
Michelle Spence, the ICU nurse unit manager at Royal Melbourne Hospital, (pictured) said of none of the 90 people with Covid in the intensive care unit were vaccinated
Sunday’s 1,220 new cases comes the infections announced on Saturday smashed the pandemic record of 1,438 recorded on Thursday, with 1,488 new infections
She said the toughest moment was watching her patients beg for vaccination moments before being put on life support.
‘That is the absolute truth. I’ve seen it myself. They are begging for the vaccination. They are very young and once we get it that and about to put them on life support, it is really too late,’ the ICU nurse said.
‘If you are waiting, it is your window not to be this person. It is your window to absolutely not be another unnecessary statistic.
‘Over the last 18 months we have had people die in our ICU by themselves – sorry, it’s making me emotional – and we hold their hands.
‘We hold their hands while their families have to be at home and that is absolutely not what this should be about.
‘Loved ones deserve to have their families with them when they die.’
Ms Spence said there were plans to open new ICU beds at the Royal Melbourne Hospital from Monday, as peri-operative nurses are trained to care for patients.
Victoria has recorded 1,220 new Covid-19 cases and three deaths overnight (pictured, a woman shopping in Melbourne)
Jacqui Harper, a nurse unit manager at the Northern Hospital in Epping, (pictured) got emotional as she vented her frustration at those who refused to get vaccinated
Jacqui Harper, a nurse unit manager at the Northern Hospital in Epping, got emotional as she vented her frustration at those who refused to get vaccinated.
‘I know from my team they are frustrated at the protests. Those who are not wanting to get vaccinated,’ Ms Harper said.
The unit manager revealed her nurses continued to be challenged by the unpredictability of Covid-19.
We don’t know what patient will decline in the next minute. We might not cope, and we all have emotions, too,’ she said while holding back tears.
Dealing with the challenges of people not being able to see their loved ones, us holding their hands for that last dying breath – it’s hard.
So, yeah, we might challenge to cope, but we will cope. That’s what nurses do.’
It comes as the cases announced on Saturday smashed the pandemic record of 1,438 recorded on Thursday, with 1,488 new infections.
Dozens of anti-vaccine protestors marched along the Yarra River to the Botanic Gardens, some chanting ‘my body, my choice’ on Saturday (pictured, health care workers in Ballarat)
Construction workers who have had one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine will be allowed to return to the worksite from Tuesday (pictured, construction workers on Chapel Street on Saturday
Sunday’s cases were diagnosed from 71,275 tests and 36,248 vaccine doses were administered on Saturday.
Not among those getting jabbed were more than 100 anti-vaccine protestors who marched through Melbourne’s CBD, with Victoria Police making several arrests.
The demonstrators flooded the city just one day after sweeping vaccine mandates were announced by the Victorian Government.
Authorised workers are required to have had their first vaccine dose by October 15 and a second by November 26.
The requirement will cover retail workers, personal trainers, MPs, journalists, faith leaders, judges, police, lawyers, actors, and professional athletes.
Under the plan, construction sites can reopen for workers who have had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. They must be fully vaccinated by November 13.
There were 36,248 vaccines administered and 71,275 Covid-19 tests conducted in the last 24 hours (pictured, a woman receives a Pfizer vaccine in Melbourne)
At around 1pm, dozens of anti-vaccine protestors marched along the Yarra River to the Botanic Gardens, some chanting ‘my body, my choice’.
The group travelled past the National Gallery of Victoria and the ABC’s Melbourne Headquarters, with police separating the crowd into smaller groups to make arrests.
By 2pm, crowds had mostly dispersed as it appeared protestors were outnumbered by police.
The protest is believed to be the largest in size since hundreds of demonstrators rioted at the Shrine of Remembrance on September 22.
Covid-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar expressed his frustration at the actions of anti-vaccine protestors during a press conference on Saturday.
‘We get the fact that people are frustrated, we get the fact that we’re upset. You’re not helping yourself, you’re not helping anybody,’ he said.
‘At best, you run the risk of generating more transmission. At worst, you know you’re creating, you’re fuelling a bonfire, that’s already on fire. I just think it’s a really unhelpful thing to do.’
The state’s vaccination rate is currently sitting at 85 per cent first dose and 51 per cent double-dosed (pictured, health workers at a drive through clinic in Melbourne)
Construction workers will be allowed to return to the worksite from Tuesday, with several safeguards in place.