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Here’s a guest blog from a friend and colleague who practices Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine and is also a Critical Care physician. I believe that she should remain anonymous for now. However, I was inspired by the emails and texts she has sent me and thought you would be, too. She’s sending me messages off the cuff – they are “raw” and not edited by her. However, I think that is best. She uses a lot of abbreviations and when I thought it was useful, I explained them in brackets. One day at the right time, I will tell you who she is and we can all thank her properly for her courage and commitment. Here are her COVID-19 Diaries – uncensored.
–Caroline

COVID-19 diaries – Day 2

Friday morning — there are 4 patients in the ICU with COVID-19.  Today, I totally revamped the way we round in the unit. Usually the residents round without an attending. Instead, I told them that I would round with them and they would present the cases formally to me. I will admit that my assessment of the residents was that they weren’t the cream of the crop. However, to my amazement by the third patient, they could make a succinct presentation and they continue to improve.

I called the chief resident and told him he needed to pull residents in from their weekend respite because our Infectious Disease doctor was crazed and I needed help, too. One resident is particularly good at placing central lines, so he was assigned to put central lines in all the patients who required them while I rounded again, this time with the nurses and the Respiratory Therapists. I wanted to ensure that they had the resources they needed to do their jobs caring for patients.  I also decided it was time for our ICU to start using prone positioning [meaning, positioning intubated patients face down – CF]. The staff had no experience with it, but I told them I knew they could do it. It took nine of us to do it the first time – partly due to inexperience and partly because the staff were curious and wanted to participate.

I think it helps one’s own fear and anxiety to be busy DOING something rather than sitting at home worrying about “what if…”


Dr. Fife sees patients at the CHI St. Luke's Hospital Wound Clinic in The Woodlands, Texas. For an appointment call (936) 266-2150.



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