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The coronavirus outbreak has meant that many Intensive Care Units are much, much busier than normal. Many Intensive Care Units will have had to completely reorganise how they provide care, so that they can increase the number of beds available, and also provide separate Units for patients who do and don't have coronavirus. All of this means that many more doctors are needed. Many Units have had to bring in ("redeploy") doctors from other areas who don't normally work in Intensive Care e.g. anaesthetists, surgeons, etc. This may also include doctors who previously worked in Intensive Care, doctors recently retired from Intensive Care, and junior doctors. These staff receive rapid training and support from Intensive Care staff, so that they can safely provide care. They will be carefully supervised by doctors who normally work in Intensive Care 

Intensive Care Doctors

There are different levels of seniority among the Intensive Care doctors, but a named Consultant is responsible for making any major decisions about their patients' care. A Consultant will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are available by telephone overnight and will come into the Intensive Care Unit overnight if needed. Specialist Registrars (very experienced medical staff who often have a background in anaesthesia) and Senior House Officers also make many decisions on the day-to-day care of patients. There may sometimes be more junior doctors in training, and they are very closely supervised.

Other specialist Doctors

Doctors from different specialties e.g. surgeons, cardiologists, neurologists may be involved in the care of patients with COVID-19. Some Units will be limiting the number of people visiting the ICU, to protect staff from being exposed to COVID-19. Where this is the case, specialist Doctors will be kept up to date by phone and video call. 


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