What happens if you need to go to A&E just now? Is there a risk of picking up a Covid infection? Well dear readers I can tell you because yesterday I had to go. I found the experience quite interesting, so I though I'd pass it on here for info.
1. The injury
Here is our new cheapo gazebo from Argos - modelled by Kath in its shade
Can you see the little wall bracket for the guy rope at the left hand side? On Thursday I was drilling a 2.5mm hole in a strip of aluminium, making that little bracket when the drill bit broke and as the drill jumped, the stub pierced my left hand index finger. Ouch!! I rushed into the house with my finger in my mouth and said to Kath "oi illd ooo my inger". Eventually she worked out what I was saying and expertly applied a pressure bandage to stem the prolific bleeding from the entrance wound. What we didn't realise until changing the dressing next morning was that the finger had also been bleeding from the other side. Sure enough on the other side of the finger there was an exit wound, so the drill had gone right through!
2. The decision to go to A&E
I can't remember ever having had a tetanus injection, or if I did it would have been many years ago, so having read up on the seriousness of tetanus, and in spite of a fear of picking up 'The Virus' I decided I should take myself to A&E at the Royal Berks Hospital (fifteen minutes drive) to get a jab and let them look at the wound in case of infection. There are known to be quite a lot of Covid patients at this hospital so I wasn't a trivial decision.
3. Covid screening
On arriving at the A&E building I was surprised to find people queueing outside in the yard (all at 2m spaces and many wearing masks and looking somewhat like a gang of bank robbers). The Reception desk had moved into the entrance lobby and nurses could be seen just inside the doors attending to people booking in. After half an hour it was my turn and on stepping inside the lobby I was pointed to a chair only just inside the door and sat while a masked man interrogated me on my social contact history while he took my temperature, blood oxygen level and blood pressure readings. He also went through a list of Covid symptoms asking if I had experienced any. Having thus decided that I probably was not carrying the Covid virus. I was given a "certificate" to go to another (presumably Covid free) outbuilding for treatment to my finger.
Arriving at the second building and handing over the certificate, I was briefly interrogated once again, then let into a waiting room with chairs spaced at 2m intervals. A nurse came and looked at my finger. "Ooh that's a good one. Better XRay it just to check no debris or bone fragments to cause infection".
Another nurse escorted me to yet another waiting room, complimenting me en-route on the pretty mask which Kath had made for me. More spaced out chairs and a ten minute wait for the XRay.
To cut a long story short, the XRay showed it was only a clean flesh wound and I was given a tetanus jab and sent home. "Looks like you got away with it." said the nurse.
I'm happy to say that the wound is healing up remarkably quickly and I hope to be back to guitar practice in a few days.
5. Conclusion -Is it safe to go?
Well nothing is 100% safe, but it seems like a good system and I would go again if I needed to.