Dr. Sameer Gupta, Director, Cardiac Cath Lab, Metro Group of Hospitals & Director, Umkal Hospital
Speaks about overcoming stressful situation, need for vaccination awareness, personal coping mechanisms & more
The video is a detailed account of a conversation with him. Below is an excerpt…
How can frontline workers deal with the outstretching demand that is observed in the second wave?
In March, we saw cases rising again and then suddenly the second wave hit us. Non-COVID hospitals during this second wave had to be converted into COVID hospitals, even my organization. This made everyone anxious, especially the hospital staff as to how we would set up the necessary arrangements.
In order to deal with this feeling of anxiousness, we set up rest places within the hospital, provided meals and care for hospital staff. COVID allowances were also provided as a measure of reassurance for the hospital staff. We also kept telling them that we are in this together.
Communication is extremely important in a team and I would urge healthcare workers and hospital administrations to take it seriously.
How can one cope with the sinking guilt feeling of not saving enough lives?
As medical professionals, we try the best to save every life. Reality of the medical profession is that we cannot possibly save each and every person’s life. This was amplified to a scale that we did not imagine. And it is really a sinking feeling of not being able to save the patients. In such times, it is best to go back and look at success stories. On a personal level, I often cope with such circumstances by reading thank you notes sent in by the patients to me. It gives me hope.
People get distressed and end up with violence against doctors and other hospital staff. What can be done about this?
It is a criminal offence to indulge in violence against healthcare workers. People should realize that no healthcare worker would sabotage the life of their patient. They do their best with the resources and knowledge they have to protect their patients.
Violence is completely unacceptable, especially when frontline workers are working under extreme physical and mental stress situations. Such instances cause distrust between doctor and patient and in such a situation, nobody wins.
What would you recommend to people who do not follow COVID protocols, even now?
It is really difficult to control everyone. We see people not wearing masks properly, and not following the social distancing norms. People are still attending social events, such as wedding and parties.
A simple message for some people would be this: If you do not follow protocols, you will get infected and transmit it to the people you care. Nobody wants to put their loved ones at risk of infection, so please follow these protocols in a right way.
There is less assurance on vaccines, and people are worried about side effects. How can health care workers play a role in this?
Education is extremely important in this fight against the pandemic. Vaccines are very safe and vaccines are the way in which diseases can be eradicated. We have already seen this in the case of small pox and measles. Healthcare workers should reinforce the importance of vaccination to their patients and families. If you do not take vaccination, the risk of infection high.
How to manage cardiac patients who are COVID positive and when their SPO2 levels fall from 95 to 75?
People with such complications, like heart diseases, are at higher risk of infection. Close monitoring is extremely crucial and also keeping the doctor updated at all times. Oxygen levels drop is something that happens gradually, not suddenly. So, when you observe the first sign of such a thing, consider hospitalization, as it is the only way the patient will get proper care and attention.