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 Although possibly the circular is withdrawn, but it reflects the deep seated and hidden mental frame of administrators, about the intention, how they wish to behave with doctors.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

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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

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plight of nurse who died reusing PPE’s

 

Balancing Immunity in Corona Times


Any substance is considered effective only after rigorous testing through randomised clinical trials with Covid-19 patients, and additional laboratory analyses.  The substances that are merely propagated on social media or claims of company or advised by quacks will not help and merely remain as part of immunity business. They provide a false hope and thereby earn money  because of fear in the minds of masses.

  As there is no definite treatment or prevention against Covid-19, people need to depend upon their own body resistance and preventive strategies. There are advisory in respected papers about the same in The Hindustan times and The Wall Street Journal, that may be helpful.

 

 

Scientists bust myths about ‘immunity-boosting’ substances in fighting Covid-19

Indian scientists on Thursday released a statement against the promotion of “immunity-boosting substances” to protect oneself from being infected with the novel coronavirus. Citing lack of scientific evidence, scientists said consuming mustard oil or tea, homaeopathic solutions or ayurvedic preparations, or modern medicines like hydroxychloroquine that are claimed to provide either immunity or cure “do not provide any known and/or validated protection against Covid-19”.

Additionally, drinking cow urine, wearing talismans, exposure to ultraviolet light or injecting disinfectants are harmful to the human body, while excess consumption of supplements such as zinc or datura seeds can prove to be fatal.

Aniket Sule, astrophysicist at Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education and one of the signatories, said, “Since the beginning of Covid-19 epidemic, several statements have propagated ‘immunity-boosting’ substances. Some assertions were also supported by a few government functionaries at the Centre and in various states; and we, therefore, wanted to place scientific facts in the public domain.”

The most severe cases of Covid-19 are made worse by an overreaction of the immune system. So trying to boost general immunity using untested methods may be risky.”

Facts (and Myths) About Boosting Your Immune System

It’s crucial to stay healthy as the threat of coronavirus spreads. Here are the best strategies.

As the new coronavirus continues to spread across the country, having an optimally functioning immune system is more important than ever.

Medical professionals say it is important not to rush to buy supplements and vitamins that promise to enhance your immune system; there isn’t much evidence that such products do any good. Instead, they say, stick with the more mundane, but proven, approaches:

  • Keep your stress levels down.It’s a bit of a vicious cycle, of course: The more you stress about the virus, the more likely you are to suffer from it. “Stress can certainly hurt your immune system,” says Morgan Katz, an assistant professor of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University. “Do not panic, try to minimize stress.”

Andrew Diamond, chief medical officer of One Medical, a nationwide network of primary-care providers, says the stress hormone cortisol turns off cells in your immune system. He recommends engaging in activities that people find relaxing, such as meditation.

  • Exercise.Low- and moderate-intensity exercise naturally lowers cortisol levels and helps with immune-system function, says Dr. Diamond. One Medical recommends 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day. If you’re apprehensive about germs in the gym, walk or run outside.

But it is important not to go overboard. A recent study found high-performance athletes have an increased risk of infection, says Elizabeth Bradley, medical director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine. “Exercise helps boost the immune system, but we have to be careful not to overexercise because it can weaken your immune system,” she says.

  • Get adequate sleep.For adults, that means getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Children should get more, depending on their age.
  • Make sure your vaccines are up-to-date, especially the flu vaccine.
  • Eat plenty of plain yogurt every day.“It’s really an easy way to boost your probiotics and help support your microbiome,” Dr. Katz says. “It helps to support the good bacteria that live in your body, which help to fight bad bacteria or viruses.”

Dr. Katz also suggests avoiding antibiotics unless you must take them because they deplete the good bacteria in the system, leaving you more vulnerable to other infections.

Other foods that can help support the microbiome include garlic, onion, ginger, sauerkraut and fermented foods, says Dr. Bradley.

 Watch your diet. Stick to a healthful, balanced diet filled with lots of colorful fruits and vegetables to ensure you’re getting enough zinc and vitamin D and other important vitamins and minerals. Most experts say you should be able to get enough of these vitamins and minerals through your diet, and extra supplementation isn’t necessary. But because vitamin D deficiency is relatively common, experts do recommend supplementation if levels are low.

Dr. Bradley recommends eating lots of dark green, leafy vegetables and berries, as well as nuts and seeds, and to minimize foods with sugar and trans fats, which aren’t as nutrient-dense.

Your immune system needs fuel, so avoid ultralow-carbohydrate diets, experts say. In addition, drink lots of water and reduce alcohol consumption, which can disrupt your sleep.

  • Stop smoking or vaping.Smokers and those with respiratory disease have a higher rate of serious illness and complications from coronavirus. “Anything that is challenging to your lungs is going to work in the wrong direction,” says Dr. Diamond.

 

 

 

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

Noble doctor-Ignoble death #Chennai doctor death #Covid-19


 

Chennai Locals Pelt Stones at Ambulance Carrying Body of Popular Doctor Who Died Due to Covid-19.

Hercules, who ran the New Hope private hospital in Chetpet, battled against the disease for 15 days at the Apollo Hospital in Chennai before succumbing to it.

 

Chennai: Locals at an upmarket locality in Chennai pelted stones at an ambulance ferrying the body of popular doctor and medical entrepreneur Simon Hercules who died due to coronavirus after a 15-day struggle with the disease.

Hercules, who ran the New Hope private hospital in Chetpet, battled against the disease for 15 days at the Apollo Hospital in Chennai before succumbing to it.

The ambulance driver and a sanitation worker were wounded in the attack that happened late on Sunday night. Police sources confirm that 20 people have been arrested.

According to a relative of Hercules, locals opposed their attempt to bury the body despite the fact that permission was granted. “They refused to allow the cremation of the body. I make this teary-eyed post to all you that a sincere doctor who died treating Covid-19 patients does not have the space for a decent burial,” said Dr Bakiaraj.

This is the second incident of a doctor being disallowed a decent burial in Chennai. Recently, in Ambattur, a doctor from Apollo Vanagaram was not allowed space for burial by locals.

 

The incident at Chennai is not only disheartening for doctors but dissuades others to carry out the noble work and discourages many to take responsibilities of medical care. This brings forth the narrow-minded nature of public, without realizing their own loss.  Doctors are not  God and are simply human beings. They may become victims of the diseases, while they try to save the patients while putting their own life at risk. This incident not only unmasks their vulnerability to catch diseases, the adverse circumstances they have to work, but sadly victims of underserving public wrath.

If such is the behavior of the public towards doctors, why children should become doctors at all? Why doctors should put themselves at risk while in pursuit to save lives?

21 occupational risk to doctor and nurses

Altruistic professions not respected in the present era

Story of the fight inside COVID ward #Indian express


 

At this time, where  CELEBRITIES and REEL HEROES are fighting the war on Television to prove their real worth in CORONA-TIMES as if they are of some use to society; entertain.  Trying to prove as if the name, fame and wealth  showered on REEL HEROES was not an overhype, INDIAN EXPRESS has been wise enough to publish the real fight in the wards and plight of REAL   HEROES. As the stories of the real plight remains confined to medical groups only.  This article has appeared on 12 April Sunday.  Now the time has come to worship the  REAL HEROES and not use them as sacrificial lambs, otherwise in next pandemic only REEL HEROES will be available for good dialogues, and not the saviors.

      The hazmat suit can get oppressive, the separation from loved ones painful, and fear of the virus paralyzing. The Indian Express recounts 24 hours in the life of four doctors and nurses on the frontlines of the battle against coronavirus in the Capital, armed with a few PPE kits, bottles of sanitizers, and — when the stress gets unbearable — Mohammad Rafi songs

Soaked in sweat after a grueling shift, every night, she returns to the Dental Block of her hospital to sleep.The goggles and mask stretched across her face all day leave bruises; the heat, she says, has set off pimples. Her limbs ache from wearing a PPE suit a size too small. What she craves then is a bath, but dreads it too.

“My room is not a dormitory, it’s a laboratory. There are three toilets, no bathroom… I use the jet spray to take a shower. Then I wash my clothes near the toilet and hang them on a railing where clothes of 17 other nurses — all of them exposed to  COVID 19 patients all day — are also left for drying. That’s the moment I break down every day,” says the 50-year-old nurse who was assigned to the special ward of a dedicated COVID-19 hospital. “Dar lagta hai, rona aata hai (I feel scared, I feel like crying)… But I just take a painkiller and sleep.”

 

In another part of the city, a 25-year-old doctor, who has been working in the COVID-19 ICU of a Delhi government tertiary care hospital since March 26, is relying on a pill to stay safe. “I have been taking a dose of  HCQS,  I went to 15 shops to get it, but it was not available anywhere. I finally had to borrow from a friend.

Its effectiveness in treating COVID-19 has not been proven but it’s recommended. I know it can have serious side effects. I read that a doctor in Guwahati died after consuming it. But I am taking my chances,” he says.
On a continuous 14-day shift in the COVID-19 ward before he gets a break for a fortnight of quarantine, the post-graduate resident doctor from the internal medicine department says he loves his job, but fears putting the lives of his elderly parents in danger. “The ICU is the most infectious zone. I have to insert tubes through the patient’s mouth into his airways, put food tubes, catheter, if needed… I am constantly exposed to their body fluids,” he says, adding, “My parents are very paranoid, and insisted on taking the hydroxychloroquine tablets too. But I didn’t let them.”

As the country remains in lockdown, with people barred from stepping out of their homes, a large army of doctors and nurses have been making their way to COVID wards each day and night, treating patients even as they fight their own fears. With the novel coronavirus cases in India crossing 6,000, the burden of treatment has largely fallen on the country’s creaking government healthcare system and its over-worked staff. In Delhi, with over 20 virus hotspots and 14 deaths, at least six hospitals/blocks have been dedicated to the treatment of nearly 1,000 COVID-19 patients, and thousands of suspected cases.

 

the six floors of my hospital are brimming with people, there’s hardly any social distancing that happens. Ambulances are dropping off family after family, all suspects. I am not in a PPE kit all the time, so when I first come in contact with suspected cases, I usually have only a surgical gown and a three-layered mask for protection. If any of them coughs, I shudder… At times such as these, I simply plug in my headphones, listen to Mohammed Rafi songs for a few minutes, calm down, and return to the job,” says the 50-year-old nurse.

Before the shift

These days, the 25-year-old doctor begins his day with a WhatsApp video call to his parents. Since the Cardiac Care Unit at his hospital was transformed into a COVID-19 ICU, he has moved to a separate floor of his house.

“I tell them to prepare my food and leave it at the door. I was given the option of staying at a hotel, but my family got extremely worried and insisted that I stay at home,” he says. He also makes calls to a few friends, mostly doctors, across the country, to catch up with them. “They have been my support. I have to admit that I have been calling them more than usual,” he says. The post-graduate resident doctor, who is now three years into his job, has been working in three shifts — 9 am to 3 pm, 3 pm to 9 pm, and the night shift every third day, from 9 pm to 9 am, after which he gets a day off.

Given the infectious nature of the disease, separation from family is a reality for many doctors across the country, like for a 40-year-old cardiac surgeon from a Delhi government hospital who has also been staying on a separate floor of his house.

“In the mornings, my daughters, 5 and 8, come out in the balcony and we shout out and talk to each other. They have also invented a game — they have named me corona and pretend like they are out to catch me,” says the doctor, who volunteered for a position in the COVID-19 ward in early March.

 

“The distance was necessary because my father, in his 70s, has both a lung and heart condition… I have worked in tuberculosis wards earlier, so my family is used to me taking precautions. But this time it’s a pandemic and so the stress levels are higher,” he smiles.

For the 50-year-old nurse, a diabetic mother and a 10-year-old son at home made her opt for the hostel facility at her hospital. “I have been in the profession for 22 years. I married late to focus on my career. My shifts have usually been long, but this is the first time that I have been away from home for this long,” says the nurse who hails from Goa

So now she spends her mornings talking to her child and husband, often “hiding my worries”. “They read about the staff at the Delhi State Cancer Institute getting infected, they ask me all kinds of things. I just say everything is fine. I have also told them that I don’t have a phone with me, so don’t call me till 10 pm. But I have one; I just don’t want them to call me when I am busy with the patients or when I am too stressed,” she says. “Since it’s Lent season, I also pray for the safety of my family before leaving for work. I have bought some dry fruits and fruits from outside which I eat to strengthen my immunity,” she says.

 

As she enters the toilet in the Dental Block to freshen up, she says, she cringes at the sight of the bucket, mug and towel. “They were used by the staff here before us. I don’t know if they have been disinfected,” she says.
But she is relieved that she does not have to go back home after the shift. “Two nurses at the hospital have been travelling from Noida every day. Their families are exposed to the virus. Once my 14-day duty ends, I hope they test me before sending me home. The 50 nurses who worked before us were not tested, just sent for 14-day quarantine.”

Inside the ward

As per norms, and accounts by doctors and nurses that The Sunday Express spoke to, the COVID-19 wards in the Capital are “well-ventilated spaces with beds placed at least six feet apart and no extra furniture”. They are disinfected with sodium hypochlorite several times a day. Separate toilets would be ideal, but at most places, at least three to six patients share a facility.

“The rooms cannot have air-conditioners because that would lead to stagnant air, an ideal environment for the virus to thrive. This also means that a doctor or nurse can’t wear a PPE suit for more than two hours, because it gets very uncomfortable in this weather. It is easier in colder countries,” says the 40-year-old doctor, whose first challenge upon arriving at the hospital is ensuring social distancing among the large groups of patients who arrive at the reception every morning. The 450-bed hospital he works in has 200 COVID-19 patients now.

“I take two rounds of the wards in the day. I use the stethoscope for auscultation, I have to come in contact with positive patients and suspected cases,” he says.

Around seven people, including nurses, security and cleaning staff, are present in the hospital’s COVID ward at any given time. When not in the ward — there are six COVID wards at the hospital, including the ICU and Flu Clinic — the doctor works from a ‘COVID-19 office’ that has been set up at the hospital recently.

“Recently, a man who had returned from Thailand and had COVID-19 symptoms kept holding his little son in his arms. I had to counsel him for long before he agreed to let him go,” he says. Patients with fever, cough and sore throat first arrive at the hospital’s Flu Clinic to get tested. At least 50 patients have been testing positive at the hospital every day.

 

“I then move on to take stock of PPE, about 15 of which are used in each shift, and then go through patient files, and finally brief all my staff — nurses, ward boys, cleaners — on how to deal with COVID-19 patients. I can also easily tell when one of them is scared, it’s on their faces. I try to be jovial with them, that helps,” says the doctor.

For the Goa nurse, the “fear” is mostly a sinking feeling as she slips into the pink kurta-pyjama uniform at her hospital every day. “It’s washed with clothes of all other nurses. I rub a lot of sanitiser over it,” she says. Her hospital has 600 active and suspected COVID-19 cases, while her ward has six positive patients.

“We are four nurses on a shift, and only the one who goes into the ward gets a PPE kit. The rest are in surgical gowns and masks. But suspected cases are walking into the hospital all day long,” she says. She is part of a group of 120 nurses working at the hospital in three shifts — 7 am to 2.30 pm, 2.30 pm to 10 pm and 10 pm to 7 am.
For a 32-year-old nurse, who is now at home after completing her 14-day shift, it was the “donning and doffing of the PPE that left me anxious… We didn’t have a separate room for changing, about six of us did it together. I washed my hand after removing each part of the equipment,” says the nurse who hails from Kerala and has been working at a Delhi government hospital for the past six years.

A single parent who lives with her elderly mother and child, she says she stays in a separate room at her house, uses a different toilet, and pours Dettol all over her shoes and clothes every day. “Unlike doctors, nurses are not tested after the 14-day shift ends. There was no thermal screening facility at my hospital either. So I am continuing with the precautions,” she says. However, she says, she is relieved that she doesn’t have to wear gloves until her next 14-day shift. “I am allergic to latex powder that is used while wearing gloves. My hands would remain itchy all day. I would wash them all the time.”

Washing his hands 20-25 times is also among the many precautions that the 25-year-old doctor takes every day as he begins duty. “Even in the 20 minutes that it takes to wear the PPE, I wash my hands five-six times. I then head to the ICU, where I have four patients now,” he says.

His three years in the job have seen him being posted in infectious wards before and he is “not scared of the work anymore”. “I once got pricked by a needle used for a suspected HIV patient. It was 3 am and I rushed to get a test. It took six hours for the results to come. Fortunately, it was negative. Such incidents will happen, you can’t avoid it,” he says. He will be tested for the virus when his 14-day duty ends.

With no family attendants for the patients, doctors and nurses end up doing a lot more work. “Changing diapers of elderly patients, emptying urine bags… all of this carries chances of infection.”

And then there are the “VIP patients”. “Some of these patients are frustrated at not having found a place at private hospitals. Food complaints are a constant,” he says.

 

VIP patients have made the 50-year-old Goa nurse’s “life difficult” too. “They all have mobile phones, and they keep calling the landlines and our mobile phones, asking for chai, juice, their reports. Once, a patient accused me of hiding his reports… They complain about the cleaner, electrician, ward boy, and they blame nurses for everything. Hum kisko bolein (Who do we complain to)?” she says.

She serves food to patients three times a day in disposable plates and glasses. “It comes from the hospital kitchen — roti-sabzi, dal-chawal. If a patient is diabetic or has any other underlying condition, the diet is changed accordingly,” she explains.

The 40-year-old doctor says it’s normal for patients to be frustrated.

“They are away from their family, there is no emotional support. For a significant part of my shift, I double up as a counsellor. Recently, a young patient sat on the window sill, flung his legs out and threatened to jump. I had to pull him in. I later realised he was a drug addict and was experiencing withdrawals,” he says.

As for his own mental health, says the 40-year-old doctor, “Knowing the science behind the spread of the virus, and not relying on ‘WhatsApp and Facebook science’ keeps me sane. I have been following reports from Wuhan and Italy. It’s going to be a long journey. We can’t lose steam this early. My thoughts are similar to that of any soldier.”
To keep his staff healthy, the 40-year-old doctor also ensures that they eat on time.

“I get my food from home,” he says, adding that the staff takes turns to eat, and ensure social distancing.
The 50-year-old nurse says food is one thing they don’t worry about. “We recently got meals from Taj Hotel. It was very tasty,” she says. However, she has been taking care not to drink too much water so as to avoid using the toilet. “We have to remove the entire suit to use the toilet, and then disinfect. Plus, going to the toilet, which the other nurses have also used, only adds to my stress. COVID shift mein physical se zyaada mental stress hai (There’s more mental than physical stress while in COVID shift).”

So what does she do to fight it? “Apart from listening to old Hindi songs, I lean on my friend of 22 years. We started out together as nurses. We share our concerns and motivate each other,” she says. “I like to take care of people and that is why I became a nurse. But we need some care too.”

After the shift

After a long day at the hospital — that can range between six and 14 hours — the 25-year-old doctor begins his “return home routine”. “I first take a shower at the hospital and inform my parents that I am leaving so that they can leave my food outside my room. There is a sanitiser in my bag, in my car, at entrance of my house, at the door of my room and in my bathroom. I use them all. I keep the used plates and my clothes in a polythene bag outside my room. There is a separate bathroom for washing these,” he says. “My parents often ask me if the risk is worth it. I think it is.”

How often does the fear of contracting the virus cross his mind? “I have thought about it many times. If that happens, I will get admitted at Max or Medanta Hospital,” says the 25-year-old.

As for the 50-year-old nurse, when she returned to the Dental Block on Thursday night, she was filled with hope. “There was a protest by off-duty nurses for accommodation. The doctors are being put up at five-star hotels, why not us? Today we were told that some of us will be shifted to a new place, where there will be two nurses per room and an attached toilet,” she says. “I want to take a proper bath.”

Till then, the painkiller and Mohd Rafi melodies will keep her company for another night.

 

Strengthen hands of medical staff

Over 150 healthcare workers, including doctors and nurses, have tested positive for coronavirus so far. On the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19, the country’s health professionals have so far flagged issues such as shortage of personal protective equipment and lack of accommodation, besides being stigmatised as carriers of the virus.

 For the government, this then is the time to acknowledge some of these concerns and strengthen the hands of the medical fraternity. The ordering of 1.7 crore PPEs in the past week is a step in that direction.

 

Inside the COVID ward- Indian Express

Reel Hero vs Real Hero

21 occupational risk to doctor and nurses

Global clap for Doctors-Nurses; ‘God in only Corona-times’==Looks opportunistic & temporary


 

In times of Corona- war, what doctor and nurses really wish and need is uniform applause all times, genuine legal regulations,  freedom from industrial enslavement and sensible or true projection from media. Much needed are PPE’s,  good protective gear and an environment, where the voice of “every worker with patients” is heard.

An applause or clap for a specific and short time under the shadow of Corona looks opportunistic and temporary. The continued attacks on doctors, even on the doctors looking after Corona patients, just indicate, how deeply disrespect and hatred for saviours have been encrypted in the minds of people, especially by insensible statements from media and celebrities. The hatred and instigation had come from the people, who have not treated a single patient in their lifetime.

Before Corona episode exploded, doctors and nurses continued to work with the burden of mistrust, legal complexities and hurt. They were working and saving lives before as well. Despite doing good they were on receiving end of imposed consumerism, battling legalities, subject of public violence without much support from any quarter. The insult and assault on doctors were considered business as usual. The ridiculous attitude and beating of doctors were thought of as natural reactions of emotional mobs.

Most of Media and Celebrities earned applause, fame, money,  for themselves by spewing venom and citing stray incidents as generalization against the medical community.   Hence instigating and turning the opinion of masses against health workers.

Although it was good to see an overnight change in the attitude of people and media, as Corona-war was declared. But at the same time, continued episodes of violence against doctors gave an indication that it may be a temporary satisfaction for doctors and claps or applause may live only till Corona fear.

If it was a true applause, why it was not done before Corona exploded. After all,  doctors were doing their work before as well.   Sudden applause comes now in view of the risk to their life as a professional obligation, without proper PPE’s and deficiencies in protective gear.

Doctors and nurses just need PPE’s, good protective gears and a  safe environment.  Children of today, who inspire to be doctors, are watching with anxiety, the treatment given to saviors. An opportunistic or temporary applause without any concrete support will  not inspire good doctors or nurses in the future.

 

 

Reel Hero vs Real Hero

Blaming  doctors for the death of coronavirus patient family members attacked them Hyderabad 

Myths about medical-Ventilator; Corona may help to burst


Unfortunately, celebrities and media have most of the time fuelled the myths and common allegations against the medical profession and ventilator. The myths have been propagated rather than disseminating the truth. This is no truth in such projected and perceived hearsay.

Someone who is drowning, a small boat can save his life, till sea storm settles or the victim reaches a safe land. The boat will not settle the sea storm, but enough to save a person from catastrophe. In reality, a ventilator is the invention, which should be worshiped. But contrarily, due to wrong projections and misguided perceptions, it has been hated despite saving lives.

Although doctors and ventilators are in a similar situation, projected in the wrong way, hated in spite of doing good work and saving lives. They are hated and despised, despite the only ones of help in life and death situations. The following are a few myths and facts about the ventilator.

  1. Myth: Once on a ventilator, patients do not survive: the common myth is that once the patient is placed on a ventilator, he will not survive. The human body, when it gets severely diseased or under stress, heart and lungs need to be supported for saving the life, till ailment So, when the battle for saving a life is ongoing, almost all the patients will have to be placed on the ventilator. It is a last-ditch attempt made to save the patient’s life. However when the patients do not survive people feel that it’s the ventilator that has caused death, rather than a rational thought about the severe disease as a cause.

In reality, it is the severity of disease and the possibility of death, when the ventilator is required. It is necessary to support life.

  1. Myth: Ventilator is a modality for the mere prolongation of life: every disease has a spectrum. Every disease can progress from a reversible to an irreversible state. As an effort is ongoing while waiting to reverse the process, the patient will need ventilator to sustain life. Unless the disease reaches a stage of irreversibility, the ventilator is indispensable for an absolute need to maintain life. Since in serious condition, it is an uncertain prognosis. In retrospect, combined with the application of average wisdom, the time of uncertainty and institution of the ventilator can be interpreted as a mistake. As the whole exercise is labeled as futile and expensive by relatives. it’s a grey area and the negative thoughts are fuelled because of retrospective wisdom in hindsight. The real prognosis cannot be predicted in real-time.

In reality, Ventilator is a machine which just supports respiration and not responsible for heart beating. Therefore it buys time for healing and treatment of primary disease.

  1. Myth: Ventilator will cause death:

one can understand this simple logic on the basis that patients are placed on dialysis when kidneys fail. Patients are placed in the cast when bones are fractured for a fixed predefined period of time. Similarly, patient is placed on a ventilator when the lungs fail. The ventilator is used till the time lungs recover and become fully functional.

In reality; Risk is because of disease, which needs ventilator and not vice versa. Ventilator is a friendly machine which helps people who have failed lungs.

  1. Myth : Doctors and hospitals keep dead patients on ventilator for financial gains

Fact: placing patient on ventilator is a very critical decision, taken in best interest of patient to buy time, to so as to treat the disease. A patient needing on ventilator is actually so sick, that not instituting ventilator will risk the patient’s life. Knowing all these facts, doctors take a decision to keep the patients on a ventilator.

Once the patient is on ventilator, it is a stress for the doctor to take the patient off the ventilator. As such ventilator is a SANCTUM SANCTORUM lifesaving machine, to be used only in life and death situations.

  1. Myth : Its a miracle if the patient placed on ventilator survives.

Given the fact that placing the patient on ventilator on scientific facts. There are clear indications for putting the patient on ventilator. A much larger patients put on ventilator are actually saved and go home.

Fact: Everyday thousands of patients are placed on ventilator and sent home to lead a normal life: Any patient who is given general anesthesia is placed on ventilator in the operation theater and then taken off the ventilator at the end of the surgery. In these cases patients are placed on ventilator so as patient can be put to deep sleep (called anesthesia) during which surgery on desired part can be carried out. Soon after the surgery patient are taken off the ventilator and soon thereafter discharged for home after few days of healing.

  1. Myth :Doctors place patients on ventilator at their own will:

Fact: there are scientific parameters which decide when the patient should be placed on the ventilator and when the patient should be taken off the ventilator. So the decision to place the patient is scientific and based on objective parameters.

Contrary to this popular myth, it is a compulsion for the doctor to put patient on ventilator to prevent death in serious situations. Doctors are usually thinking several steps ahead of lay person about medical science.

  1. Myth :All patients placed on ventilator are unconscious:

Fact: this is not necessary. Usually patients are sedated for their comfort. they can be made to walk, write and even perform small tasks when on ventilator, depending upon their lung condition.

Patients are also put on ventilator in case of airway failure when unable to protect their airway for various reasons. Another reason why patients are placed on ventilator is inability of the patients to protect his or her airway. Conscious and alert patients can swallow normally formed mouth secretions. When patients consciousness level is dulled the ability of the patient to protect his airway is lost or compromised. This causes secretions from mouth to enter into the lungs through the airway i.e. trachea causing infections in the lungs. The only way to prevent this and protect the patient’s lungs is to place a tube in his airway and then place them on the ventilator.

  1. Myth: Patients can be kept alive by placing on the ventilator:

General masses have a feeling that patient can be kept alive by keeping them on the ventilator. Even a dead person can be kept alive by placing on the ventilator, which is not true.

In reality: It is machine used only for breathing and not heart and brain.

  1. Myth : Ventilating the dead patients:

this is a common allegation on medical profession. This is no truth in this projected and perceived hearsay.

Facts: Assumptions are based on thoughts of lay persons. Patients on ventilator, may look like dead, because of the disease, sedation and paralyzed by drugs. But their heart and brain are working, so they cannot be declared dead.

If there is some incident, it needs to be proved by medical personnel. In reality, it can be a very rare and remote exception. These untrue projection are creating lots of mistrust about life saving machine.

The problem is about correct projection and majority of people without knowledge of medical science do not even know the large number of lives been saved by the ventilators.

In nutshell: serious conditions and life threatening situations need higher technical interventions, to save a life. If correct projections are made, ventilators are lifesaving machines.

About ventilator

History of ventilator

“Battle of Corona”-Win or loss in People’s hand: not doctors or Governments


 

This is a disease that people can prevent, but doctors cannot treat.

Prevention is better than cure

In this era with knowledge of modern medicine, we know how to prevent the infection from Coronavirus. This is a completely preventable infection and everyone has enough knowledge about it. Heads of Governments requesting people to follow rules of prevention. Strangely these rules are not difficult. Hon’ble Prime minister Mr. Modi has himself requested people to follow simple precautions. Imagine if just by following simple rules can prevent a catastrophe in countries, world and families,  there should be no reason to not follow them.  If it happens, it shows the sheer carelessness and irresponsible attitude of people.  The success or failure or winning the battle against Coronavirus will not be of doctors, but people themselves.

This is a disease that people can prevent, but doctors cannot treat.

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