‘There’s been a loss to frontline doctors’

More than 2,300 health workers were infected while working, three died, including two in Ho Chi Minh City and one in Binh Duong, in the fight against Covid-19 over the past time.

Information shared by Assoc Protect the white blouse on the front lines, morning of 19/8. The number of infections was recorded from the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 to August 9 and is “definitely increasing”, according to Binh.

According to Nguyen Trong Khoa, Deputy Director of the Medical Examination and Treatment Administration, a member of the Special Standing Department of the Ministry of Health to combat the epidemic in Ho Chi Minh City, 900 medical staff have been infected while working during the epidemic. this, according to the report of the city’s Department of Health. “However, the loss of three medical staff is the most painful thing,” Khoa said.

The Ministry of Health has taken many measures to protect employees such as requiring thorough training, strict protective equipment… But Mr. Khoa said that in fact, many officials and students lack experience due to the first contact. close to Covid-19 patients, while working in a place with high virus concentration, the risk of infection is very high. During activities and rest, if medical staff are negligent, they can also be infected. “Additional forces are needed to reduce the intensity of their work,” Khoa said.

Over the past two months, more than 12,000 doctors from the North and Central have entered the southern epidemic center. In which, 7,000 people support Ho Chi Minh City, more than 5,000 people are distributed to the remaining provinces. In addition to facing infection, doctors and nurses are also under heavy psychological pressure when patients are overcrowded, rapidly worsening, and have a high mortality rate; lack of equipment, machinery and protective gear; eat, drink, sleep…

“There were calls in the middle of the night – the medical staff cried a lot when they couldn’t save the patient,” Ms. Binh said.

The face after removing the mask of doctor Nguyen Tran Anh Thu, working at field hospital No. 6, Thu Duc City, July 2021. Photo: Huu Khoa

Doctor Nguyen Ba Tinh, in charge of the Quality Management Department of Hospital K, has been coming to the hospital for Covid-19 Resuscitation Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City for nearly a month now, saying “nobody here can breathe air”.

The Covid-19 Resuscitation Hospital is the last line, treating severe and critical patients who need mechanical ventilation, so “letting the patient breathe in the air” becomes the goal of doctors and nurses. There is also a shortage of resuscitators here. The number of patients is too large, and all cases are severe, making doctors sometimes overwhelmed with the workload.

The doctors and nurses have divided into 3 shifts, 4 crews working 8 hours during the day and 10 hours at night in level 4 protective gear. They always have to be careful in every step, from sucking fluids for patients to removing protective gear, Wearing a mask, communicating with colleagues must always comply with regulations. When returning to the hotel to rest, meetings are all online, every room is in a room. They still joked “all playing alone”. During the break, they also went out to the lobby to get some fresh air. Eating and drinking is even more skittish, sometimes the food has cooled down without a microwave to warm it up.

“We witnessed colleagues not only treating the people, but also having to treat their parents and siblings who were getting worse,” he said.

Facing a lot of pressure, but doctors still try to overcome themselves. Doctor Nguyen Trung Trung (Deputy Director of the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases, from Hanoi to strengthen the provinces of Dong Thap, Vinh Long and An Giang) said that the situation in the West is “slightly calmer” than in Ho Chi Minh City. HCM. However, the place where life is normally quiet when the epidemic spills over is “really crisis and very stressful”.

In this area, the most difficult thing is the lack of emergency resuscitation doctors. People in other majors cannot be replaced because this is a specific industry. “You sometimes work up to 500% of your strength,” said Dr. Level.

Medical workers from the North to the West at first encountered some difficulties with changes in climate and food, but soon overcome them. Many doctors and nurses refused to eat at comfortable hotels, asking to stay in a field hospital where F0 was treated in order to save and treat patients.

Doctor Level also expressed concern about the shortage of protective equipment for medical staff. Many units are interested in donating protective gear, but because of lack of experience, they have bought fake and poor quality goods. This will make medical staff highly infectious.

Inside the intensive care unit, Ho Chi Minh City Covid-19 Resuscitation Hospital - where Doctor Nguyen Ba Tinh said no one should breathe air.  Photo: Thanh Nguyen

Inside the intensive care unit, Ho Chi Minh City Covid-19 Resuscitation Hospital – where doctor Nguyen Ba Tinh said “no one should breathe air”. Photo: Thanh Nguyen

Mr. Nguyen Phuoc Loc, Deputy Head of the Central Committee for Mass Mobilization, said that it is necessary to have a separate policy for the frontline medical force; may be allowances for toxicity, work intensity, overtime…

The Health Union has twice proposed the General Confederation to propose the Government and the State to award martyrs with medical staff who died while on duty during the pandemic; consider them to be on duty, having a policy with their relatives. Each reinforcement medical team should only spend a maximum of 2 months to ensure health; Set up a psychological counseling department to reduce stress for doctors and nurses.

Vice President of the General Confederation of Labor Ngo Duy Hieu said that the General Confederation of Labor has supported one million VND to increase meals for doctors and nurses, an additional 2 million VND for each person entering the South, and the purchase of 20,000 safety cards. whole medical.

“The fight against the epidemic may be longer and more fierce, no one knows. We always expect good things, but we also have to anticipate unfavorable things to happen,” said Mr. Hieu.

Two medical workers in level 4 protective suits in front of the 3,000-bed field hospital located in a resettlement apartment in An Khanh ward, Thu Duc city, July 2021.  Photo: Huu Khoa

Two medical staff in level 4 protective suits in front of the 3,000-bed field hospital No. 3, located in a resettlement apartment building in An Khanh ward, Thu Duc city, July 2021. Photo: Huu Khoa

Hoang Phuong

Hospitals are facing a shortage of medical and protective equipment when recording thousands of new infections every day. To support the frontline force, individuals and businesses can accompany the program “Powering the epidemic center”. See details here.


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