Risk To Doctors And Healthcare Personnel In COVID-19
People across the world are staying home to minimize the transmission of the Coronavirus. On the other hand, doctors and healthcare professionals prepare to do the exact opposite. The nature of the job puts them at a high risk of being exposed and infected by the virus. Many healthcare workers and doctors have been infected and some have even lost their lives, but that hasn’t stopped others from continuing to work, treating and taking care of the infected.
The major reason behind doctors being infected is the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), not only in India but across the globe. Doctors are helpless and bound to use equipment that may not meet the requirements due to the scarcity of proper PPE. The general population is buying the N95 masks thinking that’ll help them stay extra protected. They need to understand that the doctors need these masks more than they do as they are exposed to the virus.
Apart from that, the other risk factor for healthcare workers is, treating asymptomatic infected patients without taking the necessary precautions, which leaves them more exposed to infection. If patients with COVID-19 are not identified or diagnosed quickly, they not only pose a threat to the doctors but all the other people around them, including their families. Hence, it is important that if you show any symptoms, even the slightest ones, inform the healthcare authorities or visit your nearby COVID hospital instantly.
To help reduce the chances of doctors getting infected, what is being done is that most of the patients who are symptomatic, or have a history of fever, cough, sore throat, history or contact of travel are not being treated at the hospital. They need to go for a COVID test and stay in isolation for two weeks. If they don’t show any symptoms till then or are tested negative, they are moved to the normal hospital ward to continue with the treatment.
As a doctor, I want to use this opportunity to request you all to inform the healthcare authorities about your condition if you’re showing any symptoms, instead of sitting back home and ignoring it. You are not only putting your life in danger but your family members in danger too. Doctors are risking their lives for you, all you can do is be honest about your condition and practice the preventive measures proposed.
Consultant Oncologist, Gleneagles Global Hospital, Lakdikapul
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author. They do not reflect the opinions or views of the organisation.