Coronavirus: Blog captures life in James Cook hospital ICU

Published
Medical staff at James Cook University HospitalImage source, Richard Cree
Image caption,
The blog documents daily life working as part of the critical care team at James Cook University Hospital

Life behind the scenes treating patients with coronavirus is being documented by an intensive care consultant in an online blog.

Richard Cree's pandemic diary captures his point of view working in intensive care (ICU) at Middlesbrough's James Cook University Hospital.

Mr Cree posts updates after his shift, giving an insight into subjects such as critical care and the lack of PPE.

'There Are No More Surgeons...' began on 23 March after a night shift.

He said: "It's a bit of everything really, obviously it's a very personal experience, a lot of it is my experience in intensive care and my approach to intensive care. It's been a very different working experience for us."

Initially the blog started out as a small project to keep his friends and family informed of what was going on, but "it's grown a little bit since then", he said.

Image source, Richard Cree
Image caption,
Michelle, Luke and Jim are referred to as the "A-Team" in Richard's blog post

"I'm getting back quite late at night after some of my shifts and there's part of me that's thinking, 'this is the last thing I want to do, I just need to go to bed', but actually, sitting down, tapping away at the computer, it clears my head and it helps me sleep better so to be honest, it's well worth the time I'm spending doing it.

"I am now aware that quite a lot of people are reading my blog so there's a certain amount of pressure now to keep it up and partly to keep people entertained as well, so that's quite hard."

Image source, Richard Cree
Image caption,
Richard and his wife Nicky both work as intensive care consultants

The 50-year-old from Potto also shares updates about his home life with his wife Nicky, who is also an intensive care consultant, and their three children Millie 13, Jamie, 12 and Sophie 10.

One of his latest posts shows photos of protective screens decorated with messages from the nursing staff:

"The last month has been tough on everyone but it is the nurses who have suffered the most. They are working long shifts in PPE, looking after some of the sickest patients they have ever seen and for every ventilated patient that survives to leave ICU, another two die. They are the only company the patient has and when the patients die they are the only ones who are with them at the end.

"The graffiti speaks volumes."

Image source, Richard Cree
Image caption,
Richard noticed the messages on the screen when he was taking a photograph of his wife Nicky
Image source, Richard Cree

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