During the virtual ERS 2020 conference, the European Lung Foundation issued its annual ELF Award to all respiratory care professionals who have worked tirelessly on the front line during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an ERS news announcement.
“This year’s award is dedicated to all healthcare professionals, from nurses to physiotherapists and clinicians to support staff. During unprecedented times, respiratory professionals have pulled together in extraordinary ways; from the dedication to patient care to the rapid publication of more than 95,000 articles on the topic of COVID-19, to help inform our understanding of this new disease,” the ELF said in a statement.
While battling COVID-19, respiratory healthcare professionals have also been treating their regular patients, who have continued to live with their long-term lung diseases under stressful and worrying times.
In a video launched to mark the giving of the award, healthcare professionals and their families discuss the impact the pandemic has had on their lives and the way the community came together during the crisis.
ELF Chair, Isabel Saraiva, commended the work of the respiratory community: “In order to save lives and navigate through the pandemic, healthcare professionals have made countless sacrifices. They have self-isolated away from their families and worked back-to-back shifts to keep up with the huge demand on healthcare services. They have watched colleagues become ill, and in some cases lose their lives.
“They have communicated with family members of patients who were unable to visit their loved ones and have found ways to help families connect using phone and video platforms. Many hospitals have experienced a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for front line staff, but they have continued to put themselves at risk to provide care to patients. In the face of such adversity, healthcare professionals the world over have risen to the challenge. Please join us in recognizing the incredible response of the respiratory community to the COVID-19 pandemic across Europe and the world.”