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.
COVID-19 Diaries – Day 14
I went to visit the ICU today, I miss it. The patients that need complex management, their acuity, the nurses who are incredible, the respiratory therapists with their tricks to fit the ventilator to the patient’s physiology – amazing, it’s like art.
Some of my patients are beginning to get through this. One is still on ecmo [extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, CF] but still alive, the other is now on 35% oxygen instead of 100%, one died, the other is tenuous. The national average (we think) is that 85% on ventilators for COVID-19 ARDS will die, so the fact that I’m only at 25% (1:4) so far, is amazing.
One of the more seasoned ICU nurses told me today that the toughest day she had was the first day I wasn’t in the unit. The team had gotten used to my style over the 9 days. When I rotated off, and others took over, they had a different style. It was touching to hear her say that. I changed a lot of things about the way we normally operate and made big demands of them. However, there’s something amazing that happens when a good doc teams up with a good nurse — there’s this synergy of thoughtfulness and creativity that comes together for the benefit of a patient. I want to go back to the front line. And it is going to take every available person to get through this.