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Inside an NHS hospital at the peak of the coronavirus crisis

As the latest wave of Covid infections hits hospitals, wards are nearing capacity and oxygen supplies are straining at the volume of new patients. The

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As the latest wave of Covid infections hits hospitals, wards are nearing capacity and oxygen supplies are straining at the volume of new patients. The Guardian’s Helen Pidd spent a day at Milton Keynes University hospital to witness the crisis up close

As patient admissions in England reach new levels, the Guardian’s Helen Pidd spends a day inside the Covid wards at Milton Keynes University hospital. She tells Rachel Humphreys how she donned her protective equipment in order to shadow the doctors and nurses fighting a gruelling battle against the disease, which is affecting patients of all ages.

In the intensive care unit, patients requiring the highest level of treatment are receiving ventilation and support for multiple organs. It is a constant effort from the dedicated staff to monitor and maintain oxygen levels that can drop without warning. One patient, Dilip Sharan, tells Helen he has been on the unit for five days after testing positive for the virus shortly after Christmas.

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