Coronavirus patients at risk of staying on ventilators ‘longer’ as medicines running short

3 min

13 shares, 94 points

Coronavirus patients are at risk of remaining attached to ventilators for longer than necessary unless the British Government makes sure the drug supply does not run out. British Medical Association (BMA) anesthesiologist Tom Dolphin warned medicines used to ease COVID-19 sufferers machines are “running short” as he urged for greater clarity on plans to ensure access to supplies remains steady. Speaking to the Today programme, Dr Dolphin said: “The drugs that we’re seeing running short in various hospitals and various parts of the country is becoming a national problem.

“The drugs that are running short are mostly the ones we’re using in intensive care.

“Obviously, there are many more intensive care patients than usual and the drugs we’d use to keep people asleep, to keep people relaxed and to help with their breathing, those are the ones that are running short.

“There are alternatives but they’re the old drugs we’ve moved away from using because they’re not as good.”

Dr Dolphin warned the use of alternative drugs could result in a backlog leaving coronavirus patients in need of a ventilator without the machinery they require to help them breathe.

JUST IN: Coronavirus lockdown extension OVERWHELMINGLY supported by Brits in poll

At this difficult time for frontline doctors and nurses, sign up here to show your support now to our brave NHS Heroes.

Flights: Holiday operators offer updates on when Britons might fly again – full list

Coronavirus patients may face a drug shortage unless the Government intervenes, Dr Dolphin claimed (Image: BBC)

Share your lockdown experience with

We would love to hear how you are coping with the coronavirus lockdown. Please send a video update detailing your experiences to and we will feature the best ones. Clips should be between .30secs – 1min30 long and can be filmed using a phone, tablet or desktop.


By sending a clip you consent to us using your video in perpetuity on and our social platforms.

He continued: “They can result in patients staying for longer on ventilators, taking longer to wake up and, of course, that’s no good for the patient who needs to be off the ventilator as soon as they can and it’s no good for other patients waiting to use that ventilator.

“Those alternatives are not as good, the Government needs to get on top of the drug supply as well.”

The BMA member also renewed calls to the Government to distribute the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) required to care for COVID-19 patients as he insisted NHS staff is still reporting gear is not reaching them.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock insisted last week the PPE needed is available as he unveiled a new series of guidelines aimed at avoiding the wastage of protective gear.

READ MORE: Coronavirus could be AIRBORNE: Danish prof shares ‘nasty suspicion’ about COVID-19 spread

Speaking at Friday’s daily briefing from Downing Street, Mr Hancock said: “Last week, following extensive consultation with the medical royal colleges, all four UK Governments have published updated guidance for what PPE to use in what circumstances.

“The PPE guidance included advice that many items of PPE can be used for a whole session, not be changed after treating every individual patient.

“Everyone is still protected but there’s still enough PPE to go round.”

The Health Secretary also confirmed NHS staff and social carers will be able to access COVID-19 tests from this week.

As the UK enters its third week in lockdown, the British Government is now expected to extend the measures for a further three weeks.

A review of the lockdown policy was due to take place last week but Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab insisted a decision will be confirmed as soon as there is hard data available showing the impact staying at home has had on reducing coronavirus cases.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson returned home on Sunday after spending a week in hospital because of his COVID-19 symptoms worsening.

Mr Johnson spent three days in intensive care and later thanked all his doctors and nurses for their hard work and sacrifice through the pandemic.

The Prime Minister has been recuperating at Chequers alongside his fiancée, Carrie Symonds, who is currently pregnant with their first child.

Like it? Share with your friends!

13 shares, 94 points

What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
confused confused
fail fail
fun fun
geeky geeky
love love
lol lol
omg omg
win win

Read exclusive latest news on entertainment, music, gaming and more topics with unprecedented coverage from around the UK and US.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.