Covid: PPE shortage at the time of nurse Leilani Medel's passing

family of Leilani Medel

An inquest into the death of a care home nurse has heard that hospital staff were compelled to use trash bags as PPE in the early months of the Covid pandemic.

On April 9, 2020, Leilani Medel, 41, became one of the first healthcare professionals in Wales to pass away from Covid.

In Pontypridd Coroner's Court, consultant Dr. Joseph Riddell stated that there were "huge shortages" of PPE at the time.

In the days before she passed away, Mrs. Medel and her husband shared an adjacent hospital bed while they were both on ventilators.

When Mrs. Medel was admitted to Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, Dr. Riddell, the intensive care consultant, noted a "gradual deterioration" in her condition "every day.".

According to him, it would have been challenging for Mrs. Medel's employer, Anwen Care Home, to offer sufficient PPE to stop the spread of Covid.

Even the staff at the Princess of Wales hospital, he said, had to find and purchase their own personal protective equipment at the time.

"At that point, we were using binbags," he recalled.

"That is in the area of the health sector with the most resources.

The fact that the care homes had so little is tragic in and of itself, but I'm not surprised by it. ".

Leilani Medel and family
On a ventilator with her husband Johnny, who overcame the illness, was Mrs. Medel.

Dr. Riddell stated that Mrs. Medel and her husband were both put on ventilators on April 1 and that this was "not something that's done lightly.". ".

He explained, "All we were trying to do was buy her body some time to get rid of the virus.

"I clearly recall looking at them both and talking to her family. ".

On April 9, 2020, at 13:55 BST, MRs Medel passed away.

Dr. Riddell remarked, "I was at her bedside when she passed away.

He claimed that because Mrs. Medel was "well known to a number of our Filipino nurses," it was "very difficult" for the staff on the intensive care unit. because it's a small town.

The coroner previously heard how Mrs. Medel had treated a patient without a facemask who had coughed in her direction and was later diagnosed with Covid.

The INQUEST keeps going.

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