NHS staff have made a moving tribute to a midwife who sadly passed away on Friday 3rd April at The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex.
Medical staff placed a ‘light candle’ on a chair in a corridor before standing around the tribute, heads bowed, as they held a moment’s silence for their colleague.
It is not known if the midwife, whose name has not been released, was working before contracting COVID-19, or if she had any underlying health conditions.
we understand that the midwife concerned fell ill after coming into contact with a patient who had COVID-19, but we have been unable to verify this information with the hospital who was treating the midwife.
Pregnant women who are attending maternity wards are not dealt with by dedicated COVID-19 medical staff in the same way as patients who present themselves to A&E would be dealt with.
Instead, pregnant women who attend maternity units are triaged and cared for by midwives who initially will just be wearing paper masks, gloves and a disposable gown.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that healthcare workers who provide ‘direct care to COVID19 patients’ should wear a medical mask, gown, gloves and eye protection (goggles or face shield).
It further recommends that medical staff who are involved in ‘Aerosol-generating procedures performed on COVID-19 patients’ should wear ‘Respirator N95 or FFP2 standard (or equivalent), gown, gloves, eye protection and an apron.
And even though some patients who have COVID-19 could go up to 14 days without showing any signs of having the disease, Emergency Services News understands that maternity units around the country are not routinely testing pregnant women for COVID-19 unless they are showing symptoms.
Even though elective surgery has been cancelled in the majority of hospitals around the country, elective surgery in maternity units is still taking place.
If it is confirmed that the midwife who passed away on Friday contracted COVID-19 from her place of work, then she would be the 8th known healthcare professional to die after contracting COVID-19.