Want to be a doctor? Medical Middleman may get you killed


Increasing murderous attacks and assaults on doctors is  worrisome, an indicator of a lawless, uncivilized society, poor governance and broken health system.

      Think of a profession, where a brilliant student  studies hard for 10 to 15 years, does day and night duties, save innumerable lives. Start earning pittance and get conveniently labelled as thug, thief and butcher by Medical Middleman. These brilliant doctors can be abused, assaulted and  dragged to courts with impunity. They have become sitting ducks for punishments and physical assaults or can get killed because of instigation created by MEDICAL MIDDLEMEN.

Role of media, celebrities, film stars and prominent personalities in spreading the hatred against the medical profession and creating an environment of mistrust is unpardonable.

   Who are these Medical middlemen? How they have benefited enormously by using one single selective negative narrative?

All those, who with some clever tricks, have placed themselves between doctor and patients. They earn money by promoting mistrust between the two actual stake holders. These Middlemen have no stake, but still want to get benefited by stroking emotions.

         One poor outcome out of millions lives saved,  is enough for these  opportunistic parasites to portray whole medical community as dystopian one.

   Most important of these Middlemen  are the ‘Reel heroes’ who in a quest to be projected as Real heroes,  got   placed themselves between doctor and patient by airing vague narratives. By self-appointing themselves as custodian of health of masses, ‘the Reel heroes’ and celebrities gave true meaning to their work of ‘ACTING’ that otherwise was no more than a trifling entertainment.

         Media and many celebrities have used fear in public mind to garner accolades and money for themselves, but at the same time created paranoia in minds of people against medical profession.  And when masses worshipped ‘the Stars’ as  their true well-wishers, they aired advertisements to sell tobacco, soft drinks, junk foods and other sweet poisons to public and children.

   Media and celebrities made money and fame by riding on the vulnerability of medical profession.   By winning the faith by demonization of doctors, all these middlemen sold their products, news items shows  and created a brisk business.

         Words used cleverly by such middlemen are ‘Few Doctors’. What majority of other doctors do to save millions was not of much concern and consequence. Public would not know, how to differentiate good or bad ones.

 But this was merely a posturing on television;  to be a Real hero, actually  signified  nothing for those unknown ‘Few doctors’, but the  denigration of medical profession and  attempts to belittle the whole doctors’ community was full and complete. The mistrust generated and demonization of the real well wishers of the patients was irreversible.

These middlemen instigated masses against health care workers by their acidic comments and vitriolic spewed venomous words.

 The consequence was the loss of trust on their doctors, the only ones, who were in position to help patients in the emergency situations. The taunts and torment on doctors multiplied manifold in many forms verbal, legal, abuse and physical assaults.

 These MEDICAL MIDDLEMEN, with distorted projection   earned huge accolades and money, but they promoted feelings of enmity or hatred between doctor and patient.

 The aspiring doctors need to know the media role in today’s times. They would carry the image, whatever media projects.  A clear understanding in required, before they sacrifice their youth and life without knowing what is in store for them at the end of the long tunnel of study and training.

   Students while choosing medical career, should take a well informed decision before entering this profession, which is dangerous to doctor themselves even when discharging their duties in the best manner.

     Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

     REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

     21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

     Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

Allopathy-Ayurveda debate: Media’s Misplaced priorities


The doctors, nurses and healthcare system have been relentlessly hauled over the coals for last one year and further battered emotionally by the cruel adverse media insinuations and taunts. At the peak of pandemic, when the powerful media should be discussing the core issues to control pandemic; issues like oxygen supply, vaccination and improving the health infrastructure, it has found more interest in a futile Allopathic-Ayurveda debate. Even if someone wants to start this kind of discussion, media should have shown more wisdom not to make it a dominant issue. There are more important, urgent and pressing issues where media can play a vital role.

By many media narratives, an impression is being fostered that doctors have made a mess and forfeited their moral right to treat. Suggestions of ineptitude were gleefully aired, causing demoralization of the warriors, who were immersed in the pool of Covid patients, trying to save them.


         Their role should be as facilitators to help doctors to save more lives. One hospital death of out of millions saved, is projected as failure of doctors. They are so distant from the ground reality.  To control the health system, media has a tendency to pretend that shortcomings in the patient care can be rectified by punishing the doctors and nurses.

 Hence by selective projection the blame for deficiencies of inept system, powerful industry, inadequate infrastructure and poor outcomes of serious diseases is shifted conveniently to doctors, who were unable to retaliate to the powerful media machinery.   

        The demonstration of the cleft that separated doctors from the actual overpowering controlling medical industry and administrators is not given, in order to maintain the prejudice with its dangerous bias towards doctors, who are in forefront and are visible to public.

      Media people, who have never treated a patient in their lifetime, sway opinion and treatments of the millions just by game of projection and perception. The news items and the content are guided by idea of creating sensation in a quest to sell news, be it a selective negativity. Such  negative and selective projections are causing discouragement and demonization of the medical profession. It is the biggest  tragedy to the medical profession in present era.

      Normal treatment of the sick patients is being projected as gruesome atrocity, inflicted by doctors. Media could have done better in helping to take off spectacles fogged with bias against doctors and recognizing them as real saviours, just as deserving of justice.

       National Media could have helped, had they fueled the right and constructive discussions. The TV channels  could have countered the pandemic with better imagination, sobriety, and exemplary performance rather than creating sensation by cynical and futile debates, which are absolutely inappropriate at this time.  

     Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

     REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

     21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

     Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

REEL HEROES VS REAL HEROES in PANDEMIC


    

 There has been frequent attempts by REEL HEROES and  celebrities, to projected themselves as Messiah for the cause of patients.  By self-appointing themselves as custodian of health of masses, ‘the Reel heroes’ and celebrities gave true meaning to their work of ‘ACTING’ that otherwise is no more than a trifling entertainment.

     An anecdotal episode of adverse event or poor prognosis was enough to be used as an illustration to portray whole medical professionals as dystopian community but what remained invisible to all was the fact that every day in hospitals, thousands of lives are salvaged back from the brink of death.

But the actual bargain was an attempt to project Reel heroes as Real heroes and vice versa.    

         Media and many celebrities have used fear in public mind to garner accolades and money for themselves, but at the same time created paranoia in minds of people against medical profession.  And when masses worshiped them as their true well-wishers, they aired advertisements to sell tobacco, soft drinks, junk foods and other sweet poisons to public and children.

        There is an eternal, latent vulnerability that intrinsic in the way doctors’ work and has potential to make them sitting ducks for harassment and punishments.  It was easy to discern that vulnerability was being exploited and turned more evil, when braided with such  insinuations by media and celebrities.

         The negative projection to create a generalization in minds of people had been demotivating and demeaning to the entire health care workers.  The selective projection had left behind a trail of hopelessness in the mind of people, shattering their trust and instigating against medical profession.

But the problem starts, when these false perceptions  created merely   by a projected glimmer    takes the shimmer away from the real worthy. The real professionals and people who are worthy of glory become invisible behind the glittery mist, a haze, which is unreal and unhelpful in real life.

In present era, real contributions by people, who are saviours of human life and the real heroes, remain unappreciated. People are so besotted by their fame and money that they fail to appreciate the sacrifices made by real heroes. Filmy super hero just imitates a doctor, soldier, dacoit or a street hooligan and just pretends to be one on the screen.

     But there are  real life heroes that exist around us. Doctors awake at night saving lives every minute or soldier in freezing cold are worthy  of more respect and are real heroes.  And it is up to the society  to look beyond the superficial and reel story, and focus on the real life actors. There has to be an true effort to make, respect and appreciate  real heroes.

Even a junior doctor saves many lives in a  day in emergencies as compared to the work of a superstar in films.  A teacher, nurse or scientist have a contribution which is more fruitful to our generation.       A  society truly needs the real people, who work and act for them, more than just entertainment. It will need a total change in the attitude of people to deconstruct their perceptions, which are based on mere projections and are away from reality.

21 occupational risk to doctor and nurses

The naivety of masses to perceive the projected character as real one  goes beyond a reasonable thought process and imagination.

   At the best, a particular projected character (and not individual acting star) may be a  role model. An actor or superstar, is simply doing his work of “acting” in  the end. This work of acting may bring an entertainment of few hours at the most.

Point to ponder is that whether society needs people  just  acting like   doctors,  soldiers  and not the  actual and real ones, who saves lives.

Society needs to envisage the bigger real picture, and should not be mistaken for another projected story.                          

The perception of the projection will decide, what does the   society actually  need- or desire-or deserve , “Reel Heroes or Real Heroes”.

     Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

     REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

     21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

     Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

TRUMP BLAMES DOCTORS FOR COVID


Unparalleled sacrifice by medical community during pandemic  has not  resulted in any enhancement of  respect or prestige to the medical  profession. It was not enough  to stop physical or verbal assaults, legal or financial  exploitation. It was sufficient  to alter the course of oppression  by administrators or moral blackmail by society.

    Sadly it is getting more worse. Doctors and nurse have been reduced to sacrificial lambs, that are easily slayed, when administrators tend  to put  themselves on high moral  pedestals.

      Financial and legal complexities have been the major side effects of modern medicine, especially for doctors. They are facing  complex  environment,  which are beyond their control. Besides financial and legal complexities, moral dilemmas, facing verbal and physical assaults are creating  complex working conditions. Criticized  by administrators despite their sacrifice, media insults are adding to their disillusionment and possibly  a withdrawal response.

    Arm chair preachers would just say “yes, as a doctor, they should do it as moral duty.”

         Media and celebrities usually   have proudly   projected on screen and television that it is right to be disrespectful towards doctors. They have made it appear correct to masses  to be disrespectful to doctors. But such  news is viewed by medical community anxiously and is definitely a poor advertisement for younger generation to take medicine as profession.

     As incidents are widely publicized and masses following their “Reel Heroes” and celebrities  to insult medical profession.

    Disrespect and media insult by celebrities towards a profession as a normal  routine  and perceived as an   easily do-able  adventure  to gather populism.

On the night of October 24th, President Trump addressed his supporters at a Wisconsin rally, located just minutes from a temporary COVID-19 field hospital, making the argument that doctors at the pandemic’s front lines are falsely capturing COVID-19 cases in order to profit from the pandemic. Undermining his own scientific experts was not enough to dispute the severity of the crisis. Now, he desperately suggests — “I don’t know, some people say…” — that America’s most trusted professionals are fabricating the rising coronavirus case numbers of the current “third spike” for personal financial gain.  

Trump’s wrong insinuations

As doctors we are outraged by Trump’s gutless insinuations. We’re not alone. The American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, and the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, leveraging the voices of over 800,000 American physicians, have each castigated Trump for his callous allegations.

The mere implication that health care professionals would be incentivized by profit to alter the true rate of this public health pandemic is reprehensible. Here’s why:

We struggle to contain the losses — and we continue to lose our own. For months, we have worked tirelessly to contain the spread of COVID-19. As we approach a quarter of a million deaths nationwide, we cannot forget the 1,700 of our own health care colleagues among that number. We are the teams that care for everyone, day and night, as we risk our own lives for the benefit of our communities. Unsurprisingly, we are burnt out. These last seven months have been a marathon in resilience, frustration, and fear. 

Here’s the truth: We label patients with COVID-19 because accurate identification of this disease is essential so we can track cases to take the quick action necessary to prevent further spread. If a patient has a history of heart disease or other medical problems, and dies in the hospital with COVID-19, we know that coronavirus exacerbated that underlying condition — and their demise. It is accurate and in line with public health principles to list it as a cause of death.

We face historic furloughs, layoffs and pay cuts. 

Here’s what’s worse: the assertions that doctors are profiting off of the pandemic are completely baseless and could not be further from the truth. Physician practices are not immune to the economic losses Americans are experiencing. One in five American physicians, whether salaried or in independent practice, have experienced pay cuts during the pandemic. Hospitals and physician practices have had to implement furloughs and layoffs to stay afloat, including furloughs at 35% of all primary care offices. More than 16,000 — or 9% — of independent physician practices have had to close entirely. 

More recent estimates suggest that hospitals, thanks to the loss of elective surgeries during pandemic spikes, will face over $300 billion in lost revenue this year alone. And this is all happening while physicians report working more hours this year — amid more uncertainty about the future of their profession.

Doctor: My Sept. 11 fear of flying made a comeback with COVID-19. Was I wrong to worry?

We still work in unsafe conditions, without the equipment needed to protect us — and you. In the spring, the images were indelible: N95 masks being reused for days on end, while nurses were covered in trash bags as a proxy for PPE. Across the country, hospitals, clinics and state agencies bid against each other for what few PPE supplies existed. All the while, President Trump accused health care workers of hoarding PPE and other medical equipment. He blamed health care workers for shortages across the nation, when the root cause of that unfolding tragedy was his administration’s unwillingness to enact a national and comprehensive strategy.

Fast forward to today, where many healthcare workers still do not have adequate PPE and continue to reuse masks, gowns and gloves meant for one-time use. This could have been easily addressed by now, had President Trump fully activated the Defense Production Act to speed up and nationalize PPE production, a request he consistently refused. 

The long road of COVID ahead

We see no end in sight. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows made it clear: the Trump administration has given up trying to control this pandemic. While they wave the white flag in hopes of therapeutics and vaccines becoming available in sufficient quantities for all Americans, hundreds of thousands more are projected to die. 

COVID immunity:COVID-19 herd immunity strategy fits Donald Trump’s failures in coronavirus war

The new “medical swamp” narrative emerging from the White House, while deeply disturbing, is not out of character for this administration. Since the first U.S. coronavirus case was reported in January 2020, the president has undermined his own health experts and denied the scientific evidence at every turn. 

The coming weeks and months will be dark as we continue to experience the repercussions of Trump’s callous inaction, but you have the ability to shape how this story ends. We urge all Americans to elect leadership that is morally responsible, unwilling to allow the political manipulation of science. The lives of the American people depend on it.

advantages disadvantages of medical profession

25 factors why health care is expensive

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

 

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

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