Life-saving treatment restarted after patient’s Covid-19 fears

Caitlin White had to have vital daily infusions stopped and restarted after she developed a high temperature.

Health: Caitlin's injections were reinstated after she had to attend A&E. STV
Health: Caitlin's injections were reinstated after she had to attend A&E.

A young woman who has a rare condition that results in her vomiting up to 30 times a day is to have her life-saving treatment restarted following concerns over coronavirus.

Caitlin White, 21, suffers from Gastroparesis – a paralysis of the stomach – meaning she’s unable to digest food.

She requires daily infusions at Perth Royal Infirmary to stay alive.

But the treatment was stopped after she alerted nurses of a high temperature, a symptom of Covid-19.

NHS Tayside has now reversed that decision after Caitlin’s health deteriorated and she attended accident and emergency at Perth Royal Infirmary.

Arrangements have been made for her to attend the hospital for lifeline infusions.

“The situation, for me, is basically life or death,” the 21-year-old said.

“The infusions replenish salts in my body which are lost when I vomit. Without the treatment, my levels will drop and I’ll end up in high dependency.

“I’m very tired and I’m worried. I’ve started to get muscle cramps and I’ve started to limit my food and drink.

“I completely appreciate that the NHS are trying to help everyone that has the virus but they need to look at individual cases, rather than applying blanket regulations.

“They should have contacted the Covid team last week when I fist had a temperature if they were concerned rather than wait all this time without my infusions.”

Covid-19 specialists in Tayside decided Caitlin does not need to be tested for the virus.

Two years ago chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood intervened in Caitlin’s care, resulting in a Glasgow-based specialist examining the treatment she had received in Tayside.

A spokesperson for NHS Tayside said: “Due to patient confidentiality we are unable to comment on matters relating to individual patients.”

Caitlin was initially told by medical staff to phone NHS 24 instead of attending hospital. However, she claims she was unable to reach an adviser after more than seven hours on hold.

The precautionary measures mean that Caitlin is also unable to receive her infusions at home.

The 21-year-old has had life threatening sepsis eight times in recent years and her weight has dropped to less than six stone.

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