Coronavirus patient given last pint of Guinness by hospital staff as dying wish

A coronavirus patient was given a last pint of Guinness by NHS workers before he died.

Staff at a hospital in the North West made sure to fulfil his last request before he succumbed to the disease over the weekend.

Medical workers also play patients their music choices and hold their hands before they die without family by their side, the Manchester Evening News reports.

Dr Shondipon Laha, honorary secretary of the Intensive Care Society, spoke of the impact on critical care staff of fighting the virus.

He said: "You have to talk to families via phone, or FaceTime.

"Increasingly that’s about stopping treatment where you think a patient is going to die – and it’s very hard to have these conversations with families."

Nursing staff have to do that on a daily basis, he added.

The critical care consultant went on: "We are frequently seeing patients where you’re holding their hands, playing the music they want to hear.

"One patient, over the weekend, we went to sort a pint of Guinness for him before he died.

"We think that’s as important as all the other stuff we do. But it’s emotionally draining."

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He said there have been reports of critical care staff suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dr Laha also said the commute to a shift to care for critically ill Covid patients was "utterly demoralising".

He said: "You drive to work and watch the people walking around and think, 'What’s going on?' It’s like two different worlds."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday there are currently 37,475 people in UK hospitals with the virus, "the highest that it has been throughout the pandemic".

He also said there will be no immediate change in the law to protect doctors from legal action over Covid treatment decisions made under the pressures of the pandemic.

Health groups urged the Government to update legislation to ensure medical workers do not feel "vulnerable to the risk of prosecution for unlawful killing" when treating patients "in circumstances beyond their control".

Mr Hancock said it was "not necessary" to change the law as medics were not yet being forced to make such critical decisions.

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