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Lana Spawls

Lana Spawls is a junior doctor.

How to set up an ICU

Lana Spawls, 16 April 2020

You need a good electrical supply with lots of sockets for all this equipment; even the bed needs to be plugged in so you can nurse patients in different positions. There are other logistics to consider. Secure and well-stocked drug rooms are required; a huge range of drugs is used in the most complex cases, including those critical to maintaining blood pressure, in addition to more common drugs such as antibiotics (for those with a bacterial infection on top of Covid-19), sedation, pain relief and fluids. The facility will also need to be able to run blood tests; other blood tests will have to go to a lab and doctors will want results within an hour. There needs to be a portable X-ray machine to assess the lungs and check whether ET tubes and lines are in the correct position. And so radiographers have to be on hand to perform the X-rays, as well as porters to fetch and carry blood samples, and technicians to run the lab. It has to be possible to support any other organs that are failing; in the case of the heart this might mean medication such as inotropes and if the kidneys are failing a dialysis machine. Providing all of this in an entertainment venue is a big ask.

Short Cuts: Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba

Lana Spawls, 21 June 2018

On​ the morning of 18 February 2011 Jack Adcock, a six-year-old boy, was brought into Leicester Royal Infirmary with diarrhoea and vomiting. He died eleven hours later. The paediatric registrar looking after him, Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba, was convicted in November 2015 of manslaughter by gross negligence, and in January this year she was struck off the medical register. Jack had Down’s...

Diary: What a Junior Doctor Does

Lana Spawls, 4 February 2016

Although the second strike has been suspended for more talks to take place, the mood among doctors is pessimistic. The first round of negotiations gave us some hope, but the government has proved belligerent. Why is it so determined to impose this contract? The desire to remove pay progression across the public sector – it has already done so for teachers – is one motive. The UK already spends a smaller proportion of GDP on public healthcare than many countries, although it has a much bigger workforce, and it’s hard not to see this as yet another move towards a part-privatised NHS.

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