What fuels a doctor?


You have to live a doctor’s life or to very closely watch one’s to understand it.

As a young overburdened doctor, still undergoing the rigours of academics, I used to commit certain silly mistakes of commission and omission which my watchful patients and their attendants would easily catch. And they would gladly discount it or let me know not grudgingly. From a twenty year old boy to a fifty plus oldie – that has kept me going.

It is hard getting into medicine. Equally hard studying it and even harder practising it. The litmus test was declaring a patient dead. Even harder , declaring a neonate dead with its face beautified by the large dead pupils. As if it is going to cry just ! It takes quite some heart to do the ultimate job of declaring the undeclarable. And then you come across patients and people your age who tell you they get all sorts of symptoms upon hearing someone die !!

Doctors live fast, age fast and studies have confirmed, they die faster than the general population. Their youth is almost completely absorbed by the vast study material and rigours of one of the most difficult courses.

Once as a house physician, I encountered a school girl with fever admitted in my ward. As a routine I used to check the vitals of around 30 patients morning and evening before the rounds. She used to laugh at me saying that I had nothing better to do than a nurses’ job. It took us almost a week to diagnose her with a blood cancer. She happened to be a cousin of one of my friends. She lost her hair to chemo drugs. Tired of the disease and confines of the hospital, one evening she insisted to go out.  She was so insistent that her mother requested me if I could take her from the hospital to my room. I refused to oblige her under a veil of principles and legality. After the whole night of  confusion, whether to accede to what may be one wish in her last days, I decided to take her out of ward. I prepared  myself  for a reprimand, I would face in the department. Next morning when I reported for duty , her bed was empty. She had massive bleed at night. I cried. That was about 25 years back. I still cry though very sparingly now, on losing a patient.

Only a doctor would understand this.

Looking back , it is not money , it is not anything but a glint of gratefulness in the eyes of my patients and it is the tolerance of my patients to my mistakes that has kept me going all these years. But that desired emotions are lacking somewhere and myself, at times do not feel the zeal  to continue anymore.

  A sense of gratitude in the  eyes of patients that fueled the doctor inside me,  is no more visible now.

Dr Sandeep Chaudhri

Consultant Internal medicine, Karnal (Haryana)

Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors, others paid at home


What a paradox!!  Firstly the doctors were employed on contract basis at meagre salary, only for Covid. At a time when other employees of government getting salaries while sitting at home while doing nothing, these contractual doctors were  drowned in pool of Covid patients, risking their lives.

        Cruel heights of insensitivity and  as an epitome of poor governance,  salaries of these 900 doctors were subjected to  massive deductions. They had no choice, but to resign.

       Ironically, on one hand every one appears to rue about  non-availability of doctors, but on other hand they are given a shabby treatment. For example everyone wants to employ doctors on contractual basis and hence paying them poorly and clearly with an intention to “ use and throw policy”.

Salary cut, 900 Kerala Covid doctors resign
THIRUVANATHAPURAM: Nearly 870 doctors appointed to Covid first-line treatment centres (FLTCs) across Kerala have tendered their resignation over deductions in their salary. They were among the 1,080 MBBS graduates who passed out of government medical colleges this year and appointed on Covid duty on a temporary basis. While they were promised Rs 42,000 a month, what each finally gets is Rs 27,000. “From the amount, Rs 8,400 was deducted in the name of the government’s salary challenge, apart from TDS and professional tax. Now, we are getting only Rs 27,000,” said , state president of Kerala junior doctors association 2020-21. The association has fired letters to the chief minister and health minister seeking their urgent intervention.

being a doctor,a disadvantage

pros cons of medical profession

Financial complexity of expensive medical college Fee


Why it is not worth it..

    The value of putting a money on something is judged by the return it gives, or a status, it confers to the candidate. The fee of medical colleges is exorbitant in many medical colleges and may not be worth buying a seat, because it may take, whole years of  life  working to even recover the fee or repaying the loans, amidst the present era of complex working scenario for doctors.

Private medical colleges may charge fee of 5 million to 10 million rupees or may be more.  There are glaring financial complexities arising out of the huge amount.

1. The aspiring  doctor will not add that much to his worth, because in case he loses his life in Covid (for example), the family  will not receive that much compensation. Compensations for doctor’s death are  lower than the fee charged by  medical colleges.   Not to talk about hard work and years spent and the sufferings of years to become a doctor. So a doctor’s life still remains cheaper than money spent on purchasing a medical degree.

2. Fee paid for education purposes may be worth, if the person is able to earn it back in one or may be two years. In present scenario, some lucky doctors will be able to earn that much amount in 5 to 10 years, by honest means. Rest, not so lucky, just try to repay loans, all over their life span. Any business done by use of that money will pay more than what a doctor will earn.

3. Doctor spends his life, treating hundreds and thousands of patients and saving uncountable lives, but one patient may sue the doctor for millions of rupees, mistake or even a unsatisfied patient. These compensations sought and given by courts are much beyond the money given as compensation in case of doctor death. Just proves that doctor’s as a person and with the degrees earned is not worth spending that huge amount.

4. So money demanded from doctors, be it for medical education or malpractice lawsuit, is multi-fold of what is given to them. There can be   various pretexts  to exploit doctors. They pay thousands of times of the amount they charge from patient, to lawyers, in medical malpractice lawsuit and insurance companies, just to save themselves.

5. After paying millions to medical institutes, putting themselves to hardship of years, provides them degrees. But simultaneously they become target for medical lawsuits, verbal abuse, administrative pressure and sometimes physical assaults. Getting a degree and having a healing ability does not enhance their respect in present era.

The lack of sense of gratitude towards doctors takes away the last inspiration to spend millions for the expensive medical college seat.

  Paying huge fee to medical college will make a person poorer, especially honest people. One has to apply wisdom, how buying an expensive medical college seat is going to be beneficial.

Covid-Death of Doctor, nurses: No uniform support mechanism for families


87k health staff infected with Covid, 573 dead

Society, administrators and  Governments prefer to ignore  the fact that doctor’s  and nurse  life is at as much risk as a soldier while treating   infectious diseases. Corona has merely unmasked the risk but the danger has always existed  with other disease like  HIV, hepatitis B, open tuberculosis, Ebola and  half a dozen more communicable diseases.

Doctors and nurses have continued to work along with such risks  but the apathy shown by everyone towards health care workers, have left them  demotivated and discouraged.  

Corona deaths among health care workers are causing tremendous  anxiety.  Conditions under which they are forced to work  are giving   them a feeling  of being  victimised.  All of their years  of accumulated   medical knowledge does not make them  either invincible or  confident  about the future, as there is no uniform mechanism to support their families. The courts have also  failed to give  assurance of any kind.

Once health care workers, doctors and nurses, become a patient  themselves, they realise that their resources are scanty and they are  neither rich nor VIPs, and their families are not assured of a decent compensation.  In such circumstances they realise that they have been made scape goats due to their call of duty and society has no gratitude. A feeling of deep hurt creeps in. A feeling hurt of being  no more than sacrificial lambs in the end.

They feel let down and  abandoned by the world for no fault of their own.

WHY SUCH APATHY? There needs to be a uniform law to support families of  health workers. Moreover, health workers are crucial  for the society, irrespective of their place of work. They may be in Government sector private or in isolated practices.  The  absence of uniform support mechanisms is becoming evident and is enough to dissuade the aspiring doctors to take up challenging roles.

 Compensation given to family members of doctors after their death because of communicable diseases are trivial and  non-uniform. It is little in monitory terms as well as in terms of respect. Death of doctors and nurses has been passed off as something routine and trivial matter. Just for example, it is less than course fee of private medical colleges  or usual  compensations sought by patients in malpractice suits.

      Future medical students should note the trend and count this factor, when they choose to be a doctor.

87k health staff infected with Covid, 573 dead

NEW DELHI: More than 87,000 healthcare workers have been infected with Covid-19, with just six states — Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, West Bengal and Gujarat — accounting for three-fourths (around 74%) of the case burden and over 86% of the 573 deaths due to the infection, official data showed. Maharashtra alone, with the highest number of over 7.3 lakh confirmed Covid-19 cases so far, accounts for around 28% of the infected healthcare workers and more than 50% of the total deaths, according to the data. While Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu had tested more than 1 lakh healthcare workers each till August 28, Karnataka reported only 12,260 infected healthcare workers — almost half the burden in Maharashtra. Tamil Nadu reported 11,169 cases that included doctors, nurses and Asha workers. The three states together accounted for 55% of the total cases among health workers. A large number of Covid-19 infections and even deaths of healthcare workers in particular states is being viewed with concern by officials and public health experts, who say risks to frontline workers can jeopardise India’s fight against the pandemic.

21 occupational risk to doctor and nurses

Are doctors, nurses dispensable disposables

Are Doctor & Nurses Dispensable Disposables?


 

It is surprising that  doctors and nurses, who can save many lives, have to put their own lives at risk for the want of proper PPE’s. The cost of PPE’s is not more than few hundred rupees.  Even such a cheap facility is not available to the saviors for their own protection. Such episodes are not only  painful to the medical fraternity but also expose the hypocritical  attitude of the administrators as well as  the insensitive approach of society towards health care workers, although everyone expects doctors and nurses to be sensitive towards every one. Such incidents demoralizes and causes deep discouragement to the front line doctor and nurses, but sadly remains a routine business for administrators. The pain of being  treated like a dispensable disposables remains as  a deep hurt within.

10 govt docs, 70 private nurses have quit in Telangana over safety, hospital infra.   (Times of India)

 

At least 10 senior resident doctors deputed on Covid-19 duty at government hospitals and 70 nurses in private facilities have quit their jobs, with most citing poor protective gear to combat the virus as a reason.

While the senior residents said they were dejected with the poor state-of affairs at hospitals and the looming threat of contracting the infection, some individual doctors and nurses took a break from the profession, until the pandemic, gets over. These doctors are from the Osmania Medical College (OMC) and Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (MGM) hospital Warangal among other government hospitals. So far, 300 doctors and other medical personnel in the government sector alone have contracted the virus, with worries of sub-standard protective gear and long working hours, forcing doctors to even go on strike. Some senior resident doctors deputed from the OMC to the Chest Hospital never reported for duty, while others served for one or two months before putting in their papers. “The problem is not just that there was a threat of infection and we didn’t get proper personal protection equipment (PPE) kits, it seemed like a waste of effort. Even if a patient was dying in front of me, I could do nothing at all,” said one of the senior resident doctor who had resigned from the OMC .

“We didn’t have staff, we didn’t have the infrastructure, we didn’t have proper PPE kits or any other provision required. It seemed like a futile effort,” he said. Despite the guilt of having resigned in the middle of an ongoing pandemic, the doctors said that their presence or absence hardly made any difference to the situation. Authorities ignored repeated complaints It was like there is everything wrong, but no one was there to take responsibility. I felt bad about resigning but after over a month of working and making repeated requests for additional doctors and nurses, there was no difference. It was just a blame game,” another doctor told TOI. From the medicine department at Osmania General Hospital (OGH), six senior residents have resigned, while few others have resigned at the MGM hospital, said Dr Mahesh Kumar, president, Healthcare Reforms Doctors Association (HRDA). “At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a lot of issues with PPE kits and infrastructure and despite repeated representations they were not sorted out. Most of the residents resigned in the first two months of the pandemic, discouraged by the situation and fearing for their personal safety,” he added. Apart from doctors, 70 nurses who are at the frontline have gone missing from work too. “A least 30 of these nurses went missing from a single corporate hospital. Currently, there is a huge shortage of nurses as most are reluctant to do Covid-19 duties,” said Laxman Rudavath, president, Nursing Officers Association of Telangana.

 

25 factors, why health care is expansive

21 occupational risk factors for doctor and nurses

Altruistic professions are not cherished

Administrators refrain risk to doctor and nurses

REEL Heroes Vs REAL Heroes

Covid war- unhappy soldiers: says Supreme court


 

In present era, these are toughest times for health care staff and hospitals as well.  Warriors on the front lines are doctors and nurses, whereas hospitals are grappling with financial constraints.  What should have been most   desirable at this crucial time, was the   encouragement and psychological support to these warriors.  Administrators were supposed to give some moral boosting and financial support or at least, the rightful, so that health staff  should work willingly and inspire next generation for future catastrophe like this.  Instead of armchair preaching to health care staff, there should have been robust  rules and guidelines to protect health care staff and health systems as doctors and nurses are working under tremendous psychological pressure.

But the desired did not happen, as the chaotic management due to economical compulsions or just trying to be projected as an outstanding administrator turned out to be a real possibility rather than exception.

Moral and legal compulsions thus caused  immense pressure on health care workers  and  they became an  easy  subject  to moral and legal blackmail.  The  pressure to perform their duties in sub-optimal and below par conditions became a new norm.  

Every day when doctors and nurses, while going to work have this thought in mind. But still they continue to work amid their own tensions, worries about families.

The non-payment of salaries, disrespect to health care staff and being made to work in below par conditions, without PPE’s at some places has caused tremendous discouragement to the medical profession.

 

In war, you don’t make soldiers unhappy, says SC on non-payment of salaries to doctors

The courts should not be involved in the issue of non-payment of salary to health care workers and government should settle the issue, it said.

NEW DELHI: “In war, you do not make soldiers unhappy. Travel extra mile and channel some extra money to address their grievances,” the Supreme Court said on Friday taking serious note of non-payment of salary and lack of proper accommodation to doctors engaged in fight against Covid-19.

The courts should not be involved in the issue of non-payment of salary to health care workers and government should settle the issue, it said.

The top court was hearing a plea by a doctor, who alleged that front line healthcare workers engaged in fight against Covid-19 are not being paid salaries or their salaries are being cut or delayed.

The doctor also questioned the Centre’s new SOP making their 14-day quarantine non-mandatory.

“In war, you do not make soldiers unhappy. Travel extra mile and channel some extra money to address grievances. Country cannot afford to have dissatisfied soldiers in this war which is being fought against Corona,” said a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, S K Kaul and MR Shah.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said that if there are better suggestions coming forward, they can be accommodated.

The bench said that there are reports coming that many areas doctors are not being paid.

“We saw report that doctors went on strike. In Delhi, some doctors have not been paid for past three months. These are concerns that should have been taken care off. It should not require court intervention.”

The bench further said, “You (Centre) need to do more. Must make sure their concerns are addressed”.

The bench posted the matter for further hearing next week.

On June 4, the Centre had told the top court that a “large number” of make-shift hospitals will have to be built in the near future to accommodate the constant rise in the number of newly infected people.

The Centre also contended that though hospitals are responsible for implementing the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) activities, the final responsibility lies with the health care workers to protect themselves from COVID-19.

It further said mandatory quarantine for 14 days after the duty of healthcare workers of 7/14 days is “not justified and warranted”.

“It is most respectfully submitted that number of cases of COVID-19 are constantly increasing and at some point of time in near future, apart from existing hospitals, large number of temporary make-shift hospitals will have to be created in order to accommodate COVID-19 patients requiring admission, medical care and treatment,” the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said in an affidavit.

The affidavit was filed on a plea by Arushi Jain who questioned the Centre’s new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of May 15 for front line COVID-19 healthcare workers by which it ended the 14-day mandatory quarantine for them.

The ministry in its reply affidavit had said healthcare workers (HCW) are properly protected by Personal Protective Equipments (PPE) in workplace settings and carry no additional risk to their families or children.

It had said grievances raised by the petitioner alleging infirmities in the May 15 guidelines of the health ministry are completely presumptuous, vacuous, ill-founded and sans any empirical or medical evidence.

Justifying its advisory and SOPs, the health ministry said it is a step in the right direction and that the guidelines emphasise the role of taking adequate preventive measures by all health care workers in the hospital setting against the likelihood of contracting infection at their work place.

On April 8, the apex court had observed that the doctors and medical staff are the “first line of defence of the country” in the battle against COVID-19 pandemic, and directed the Centre to ensure that appropriate PPEs are made available to them for treating coronavirus patients.

Altruistic professions not cherished in present era

Enslavement of doctor and nurses

 

21 occupational risk to doctor and nurses

 

Who will treat people in next Pandemic?


Pandemic has unmasked the real risk to doctor and nurses. The occupational risk of being among the diseases, that was known to them, has been unveiled to everyone. That should have generated respect for health workers in a civilized society. What was actually desirable, was the encouragement and psychological support to these warriors. Good administrators were supposed to give some moral boosting and financial support, so that health staff should work willingly and inspire next generation for future catastrophe like this. Instead of armchair preaching to health care staff, there should have been robust rules and guidelines to protect health care staff and health systems as doctors and nurses are working under tremendous psychological pressure.

More importantly, among this chaotic situation, whether rules are being followed or not, how administrators are doing can be at the most a guess work, rather than following a uniform system. The possibility of chaotic management due to economical compulsions or just trying to be projected as an outstanding administrator may be a real possibility rather than exception.

Health care workers can be easily subjected to moral and legal blackmail or pressure to perform their duties in sub-optimal and below par conditions. They can be subject to moral, legal, financial or even pressure of physical assaults. Such pressures can be tremendous in health sector because of financial complexities.

Is the payment made to them is commensurate to the risk to their life and work they do? Who will pay them and how much in case harm or death of health care worker, every one refrains to discuss?

Are they given the real respect, what they deserve and are worthy of?

Every day when doctors and nurses, while going to work have this thought in mind. But still they continue to work amid their own tensions, worries about families. While it is clear to them that administrators refrain to discuss the issues, which matter to them the most.

Times of India carries a report that the interns will be punished, if they become positivefor Covid, while doing duties. Although possibly the circular is withdrawn, but it reflects the deep seated and hidden mental frame of administrators, about the intention, how they wish to behave with doctors. Why such punishments are not for other Government functionaries or officials or even public, who test positive. It is just an example, but there are numerous examples of such kind.

MUMBAI: The department of community medicine at KEM Hospital issued a circular on Thursday asking interns to give a written explanation on how they had been exposed to the Covid-19 infection, after an increasing number of interns went into quarantine. It further said they will be liable to repeat their internship for the duration period of the quarantine if there was any negligence in following “Covid-19 discipline”. The circular was withdrawn within a few hours, after it faced criticism from many. Doctors and students termed the circular “insensitive” and “unwarranted” during a pandemic. Dr Sagar Mundada, psychiatrist and former president of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors, called the circular insensitive. “It is a pandemic. Why medical interns should be asked about the source of the infection?” An intern said some of them have been working for three months without stipend while their duty hours have been increased to 12. They collect swabs, blood and insert IV. 6/6/2020 Mumbai: KEM questions interns over quarantine, then backs off – dean Hemant Deshmukh said he had not signed the circular and it will not be implemented. Dr Gajanan Velhal, who signed it, said it was misunderstood. “No such action will be taken against any interns,” he said. Rajvi Bheda, a representative of the Association of State Medical Interns at KEM, said it seemed to be an attempt to ensure interns stay safe. “But it was unfair to the interns too, as it is difficult to identify the source of infection.

As Corona has unmasked the real risk to health workers and society has dealt with heath workers shabbily. Next younger generation of aspiring doctors, who is a witness to the cruelty shown towards health staff, may be forced to think about their decisions to become health workers. Possibly the administrators need to ponder now, who will treat people in next pandemic.

Corona unmasks the risk to doctor and nurses, administrators refrain

Altruistic professions are not cherished in present era

21 occupational risk to doctor and nurses

Being doctor or nurse- a disadvantage in present era

Plight of nurse in Covid ward

Moral burden of poor quality PPE’s on doctor and nurses#Covid time


Medical industry has found an opportunity to do a brisk business. The norms of PPE are not well defined, from the end user’s comfort,  that is doctor and nurses. Any material is that is converted into PPE and dumped on health workers, adding enormously on their plight.  A moral burden to do their  work in every situation, is becoming difficult to carry on, while the opportunist in medical industry make merry. A sin, which  may look nonpunishable in current era, but should not be forgiven in a civilized society.

Possibly working as a doctor and nurse is going to be most difficult  profession. Working in life and death situations, excessive  documentation, unrealistic expectations from patients and administrators alike, working  under legal compulsions, prone to punishments and complaints on simple human errors,  poorly paid  and facing verbal and physical assaults. Above all despite doing all this, respect and gratitude is scant for the life savers in present era. Adding to all above issues, another problem has been added, the poor quality of PPE, which makes life of saviours a hell.

Times of India  publishes a report on the same, that brings out the plight of doctor and nurses.

‘Some PPEs feel like we’re wearing plastic rice bags  from. Trussed up inside a plastic bag in the summer heat with sweat pouring down the body but afraid to drink water as it is impossible to take a loo break. This is how a nurse described the experience of wearing a personal protective equipment (PPE) suit.

While there is no dearth of PPE any more, doctors and nurses say the quality is such that it’s like wearing a plastic bag. Doctors say hospitals are besieged by companies offering PPE kits. “The quality of most of what is offered is horrible. The fabric of many is like chawal ka thaila (RICE BAG). There is zero breathability and so health workers find it impossible to wear it for long. That reluctance could endanger them,” said a senior doctor. The WHO guidelines on PPE strike a balance between protection against infection and allowing health workers “ease, dexterity, comfort and minimal heat-associated stress”. However, the guidelines framed by the ministries of health and textiles only focus on the need to prevent blood or fluid penetration but have nothing about breathability. So, manufacturers focus on thickness of the plastic rather than the wearer’s comfort. “In the initial rush to overcome the shortage of PPE, it is understandable that the ministry did not think of all aspects. But it is unacceptable to allow people to use this opportunity to make money by supplying abysmal quality PPE and endangering the  lives of health workers.

The government should immediately issue clear-cut guidelines on quality of fabric and stitching and weed out the fake manufacturers cashing in on the sudden demand for PPE,” said a doctor in a Covid hospital. According to a manufacturer of protective wear, cheap plastic laminated fabric costs just Rs 150-200 per kilo. “So even with the cost of stitching, a poor quality PPE suit would cost only Rs 100- 200 to make but is sold for Rs 500-800. With such huge margins, getting even one small order for 10,000 PPE suits would mean a profit of at least Rs 30 lakh. This is why there is a such a huge rush of people getting into PPE making,” he explained Eight labs identified by the textile ministry to do quality checks on PPE have so far issued over 900 Unique Certification Codes (UCC), mandatory for PPE sellers, especially to land government contracts.

The government says there are 600 companies manufacturing 4.5 lakh PPE suits per day. Many with the UCC have little or no experience in making protective wear. They include chemists, lingerie and footwear manufacturers, tent or tarpaulin makers, wholesale traders of drugs, small-time pharma companies, and even a food company. “Anyone who has a garage to store the stuff can buy some fabric and organize some tailors to copy a PPE suit,” said an industry insider. “One PPE lot supplied to us had electrical insulation tapes used to seal the seams. Obviously, they started coming off when we moved around,” said a doctor in a private hospital. Another doctor in a government Covid hospital pointed out that the government only tested the coverall, but other components like face shields or goggles that came with it were substandard. Almost all hospitals seem to have PPE horror stories to narrate. The government is at pains to reiterate that its certification is only for the coverall and that only a Synthetic Blood Penetration Test (SBPT) has been conducted.

Every UCC states that the certificate is based solely on the sample submitted by the applicant. It goes on to state: “The procurement agency is advised to conduct prior due diligence before placement of supply agreement…including periodical sample tests.

 

25 factors for expensive medical treatment

Altruistic professions are not cherished in present era

21 occupational risk to doctor and nurses

Being doctor or nurse- a disadvantage in present era

plight of nurse who died reusing PPE’s

 

Plight of a Covid-Nurse; who died Reusing PPE


The Covid 19 does not differentiate whether the health worker, who is at war  with the  virus,  is  in a government sector or private sector. Whether it is in Europe, USA or Asia,  although conditions of Covid warriors may differ. Their protective armour may differ from place to place, even hospital to hospital. But the enemy virus remains ruthless and attacks, whenever on slight opportunity.  Although there are plethora of rule and regulations dealing with health care workers and  many times health workers themselves do not know or aware about, what to do in a given situation?

But more importantly, among this chaotic situation, whether rules are being followed or not, how administrators or managers are doing can be any one’s guess rather than an  assumption that of  following a uniform  system. The possibility of chaotic and inept  management due to economical or intentional compulsions  may be a real possibility often rather than exception.

Health care workers may be subjected to moral and legal blackmail or pressure to perform their duties in sub-optimal conditions. Such pressures can be tremendous in private sector because of financial complexities.

Is the payment made to doctors and nurses is commensurate to the risk to their life and work they do? Who will pay them and how much in case harm occurs to saviors   themselves,  administrators refrains to discuss.

 

Nurse’s death: Colleagues say had to wear used PPEs

A senior nurse at   the Hospital claimed, “While the doctors were given fresh PPE, the nurses were asked to reuse PPE. If we raised objections, we were told that since this is not a designated Covid-19 hospital, we are at little risk, and can reuse PPE.”

 

A day after a 46-year-old nurse at a private hospital in Delhi succumbed to Covid-19, her colleagues have alleged that the hospital made nurses “reuse personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves and masks”.

On Sunday afternoon, a nurse at the  Hospital, was admitted and  died at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital, where she was admitted on May 21. She is the first nurse to have died of the virus in Delhi.

The Indian Express spoke to 10 nursing staff at the hospital, where she worked as well as nurse’s son, and all of them spoke about PPEs being reused during duty.

A senior nurse at the Hospital claimed, “While the doctors were given fresh PPE, the nurses were asked to reuse PPE. If we raised objections, we were told that since this is not a designated Covid-19 hospital, we are at little risk, and can reuse PPE.”

The Indian Express spoke to the owner of the hospital, who denied the allegations and said that adequate PPE and hand sanitizers were being provided to all employees. “I have not received a single complaint from any staffer. If there is a single discrepancy, I will investigate and take strict action,” he said.

A senior nurse, who said she was close to the nurse, alleged that on her last day at the  Hospital a week ago,  she  got into an argument with the nursing in-charge about “not getting fresh PPE and masks”. Another senior nurse who worked in the ICU with her  confirmed this.

Her friend and colleague claimed that she was working until May 18, when she did a morning shift and refused to do the night shift as she was feeling sick. “At night, she had fever, a bad throat and body ache, so we advised her to rest. On May 19, too, she was sick, and on May 21, she had difficulty breathing, so she was taken to Safdarjung Hospital,” said the nurse.

She died on the afternoon of May 24.

Her son said “My mother’s condition deteriorated so rapidly… I couldn’t understand how to get here sooner. Over a week ago, she mentioned that the hospital was making her reuse PPE and charging money for masks. I got agitated and told her to just stay at home, but she didn’t listen to me. She continued working, and now she is dead.”

 

25 factors for expensive medical treatment

Altruistic professions are not cherished in present era

21 occupational risk to doctor and nurses

Being doctor or nurse- a disadvantage in present era

 

Grief : Death of AIIMS Covid warrior; raises questions


What happened to my father shouldn’t happen to anyone: Son of deceased AIIMS sanitation chief

 

Two days after his father, senior sanitation supervisor at AIIMS New Delhi, died of COVID-19 at the institute’s trauma centre, his son is still in shock.

Amid conflicting versions from the family and the institute administration, it’s unclear where the truth lies. What’s clear is, COVID warriors remain vulnerable to the disease and must do all they can to protect themselves.

The complexity associated spread and treatment  with Covid-19, is beyond the present day medical science. Although global efforts are being done on war footing, but it may take few months or a year to have some reasonable control over virus.

 

“My father got the infection on May 15 and passed away on May 24, within nine days.He was still on duty when he first developed uneasiness and illness. Routine checks were done at AIIMS on the morning of May 15. COVID test was not done and the doctors on duty suggested that my father should return for a COVID test after he develops symptoms. By the time visible symptoms developed around May 19, my father was already in need of a ventilator,” says his son urging asymptomatic people to get tested as soon as possible.

Every day is crucial in the fight against this disease as it doesn’t give you any time to respond, says the young man who, like his father, is a permanent staffer at AIIMS.

The son  also raises the question of quality of protective gear available to sanitation staff, cleaners, sweepers, ward boys and other workers at the institute.

While acknowledging the pressures of COVID management on AIIMS, the distraught son says that the N-95 masks provided to the sanitation workers at AIIMS were of low quality.

“We are all given four N-95 masks with four envelopes for 15 days and we a supposed to use one each day, store the others and then repeat the cycle. Since the COVID outbreak, I’ve only received eight masks till now. My father also had the same mask and its quality is very low as compared to the quality of filter N-95 masks you get in the markets. We do not get gloves. Sanitizers are also not freely available and we are mostly encouraged to use soap and water. But because the sanitation staffers’ job is prone to infection they should get the best quality masks, head caps, gloves and full disinfection kits. What happened to my father should not happen to anyone,” he  said, urging the government to increase testing of asymptomatic people.

Sudden demise of the front warrior has now brought the lens on the safety of cleaners and ward boys across top COVID hospitals.

Questions also arise on whether he had received Hydroxychloroquine preventive drug against COVID considering

ICMR recently revised its HCQ guidelines to include asymptotic COVID warriors in containment zones.

When contacted, AIIMS medical superintendent ruled out laxity on the part of AIIMS in handling the the case.

AIIMS medical superintendent also said AIIMS had issued HCQ for all its COVID warriors much in advance of ICMR’s revised guidelines covering all frontline staffers in containment areas and provided its staffers with all the necessary protection.

“Why wouldn’t we care for our own staff? We managed the case  the moment he came to us,” said  AIIMS medical superintendent

Amid conflicting versions from the family and the institute administration, it’s unclear where the truth lies.

What’s clear is, COVID warriors remain vulnerable to the disease and must do all they can to protect themselves.

21 occupational risk to doctor and nurses

covid 19 unmasks risk to health workers, administrators refrain

disbelief to grief

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