Coronavirus: Critical Care Patients Receive iPads to Talk to Relatives | UK News

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Thousands of coronavirus patients will benefit from a new project where they will receive iPads to communicate with their loved ones during intensive care.

Patients across the country have used the devices because loved ones are banned in many departments that fill up quickly during COVID-19 epidemic.

The “iComms for ICUs project” has so far delivered 200 iPads across the country, which has helped more than 1,000 people, but they plan to distribute many more.

In the most tragic cases, the devices will be used by patients who say goodbye to their loved ones for the last time.



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Maeve Bradbury, the founder of the project, told Sky News: “It must be so frustrating as a doctor, when your job is to improve people, but in the end, under very difficult and heartbreaking circumstances, you cannot not help them with that thing they want more than anything else – it’s being able to talk to their loved ones.

“So in fact for the staff, there is a small element of being able to lighten the load for them. “

The project will help people similar to Matt Dockray, 39, who fought for his life after being hit by coronavirus.

Dockray, who was tied to a fan, told Sky News that at one point he thought he could never see his family again.

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He continued, “You are completely cut off from everything outside. You cannot talk to anyone, there are no friends there and no one can hold your hand. You are isolated, in a small room, left alone.

“Technology is a grip. It is this conversation where someone can say “I love you” or “I think of you” that a text message does not do.

“There is nothing more than this virtual hug just to let you know they are thinking about you, and that’s OK.

“It triggers your tears, but it makes a huge difference. It helps you a lot. “

Matt Dockray, 39, used an iPad to communicate with his family during intensive care
Picture:
Matt Dockray, 39, used an iPad to communicate with his family during intensive care

Dockray’s mother, who feared the worst for her son, said video calls were crucial to her while he was in care.

She said, “It meant the world to me as your mother. It was heartbreaking. I left and cried afterwards. But to see you, especially when you can’t touch yourself, or go to the hospital and see yourself, to see you on the screen, it gave us hope. “

His father added, “If we had just had the sound, without the video, without being able to see you, all we would really have heard was how bad your breathing was and how terrible you were. So to be able to see you have made a big difference at the same time. ”

Dr Rowan Burnstein said patients can also use iPads to communicate with nurses
Picture:
Dr Rowan Burnstein said patients can also use iPads to communicate with nurses

Dr. Rowan Burnstein, an intensive care unit consultant at Addenbrooke Hospital in Cambridge, said: “We use them for the first contact with families and show them what’s going on in intensive care.

“Once the patients are settled, we can allow the family to see their loved ones and we can bring the iPad to the patient’s ear.

“Once patients start waking up, they can use the iPads themselves as a communication tool with nurses to show if they are suffering. “

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