A New Zealand maternity medical expert has revealed the lengthy health precautions staff have to undertake to deliver the baby of a pregnant person with coronavirus.
Edward Hyde, a consultant obstetrician at Hutt Valley DHB, posted an image of the safety gear staff will have to wear and described the procedures medics will need to go through.
On March 24, Hutt Maternity ran a simulated birth of a pregnant mother with Covid-19, with Hyde revealing staff had to stop for 2-5 minutes to don the correct protective gear before entering the room to carry out the delivery of a baby.
He says the measure they have to go through are lengthy and extreme, but wanted to demonstrate to the public how it all works.
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"Imagine being in this garb for an entire eight-hour shift looking after someone in labour, not being able to leave, eat, go to the loo or scratch your nose without a very careful descrub," he wrote.
"Or imagine having to spend three extra minutes getting to an emergency at a birth, where every second counts, because you cannot enter until you have put on your PPE (personal protective equipment).
"Or imagine being the poor person labouring, being surrounded by people all looking like me, a bit like the scene in 'ET: The Extra Terrestrial' where the government scientists burst into Elliot's house in the astronaut-style haz-mat suits. And then having to actually give birth.
While there are no positive coronavirus cases of pregnant women in New Zealand, Hyde warns that "it will happen" and that these are new challenges we face in the world today.
"This is the reality of what the new Covid-19 world currently looks like. Thankfully there are no cases in pregnant women in NZ currently. But it will happen."
Hyde went on to explain all healthcare workers are doing their best to figure out best practices as fast as possible and said they are willing to risk their lives to save those with Covid-19.
The Hutt Valley worker said health workers are as ready as they can be, but pleaded with the public to do their part to contain and eliminate the virus from our shores.
"Please, everyone who isn't an essential worker, wherever in the world you are remember,
this is a war where you yourself are the potential weapon.
"All you are being asked to do is stay home. It's the most amazing disaster in human history. You can help by merely reading a book or trying to see if it's humanly possible to watch everything on Netflix.
"Wash your f**king hands. Be kind to one another."
Hyde's post has gone viral, with a number of New Zealanders calling medical staff "healthcare heroes".
"It is a scary time to be pregnant but babies are born in worse circumstances every day. I am grateful for the sacrifices you are making to keep providing us with maternity care (even if you do look a little odd)," one person wrote
Another said: "If protecting the elderly/unwell isn't motivation enough, maybe soon to be born or newborn babies will encourage you to STAY AT HOME."
A third added: "We will never know if we did too much, however it will be very apparent if we did too little."