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Remember: 'There is no emergency in a pandemic"


Many doctors, nurses and health-care workers will have seen this posted in the last few days. I was asked to repost this with the news on March 30th that 60 Italian doctors have died from COVID-19 (https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/927753) Many nurses and other health care workers are being infected. In Spain, it is a similar tragedy. The New York Times reports that 3000 doctors are estimated to have been infected in China, and over 200 health care workers have fallen sick in New York in recent days. (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/30/nyregion/ny-coronavirus-doctors-sick.html)

"If you do not have proper PPE, do not go in. No matter what.

There is no emergency in a pandemic.

You as a healthcare worker are a force multiplier. Your training and experience is invaluable moving into this crisis. So, you’re going to be faced with some very difficult moments. You’re going to have to put your needs first.

I’m speaking specifically about PPE and your safety.

If you’re an ICU nurse, or an ICU doc, and you become infected, not only are you out of the game for potentially weeks (or killed). But your replacements could be people without your expertise. Your remaining co-workers are short staffed now, more likely to make mistakes and become ill themselves. You stop being a force multiplier and start using healthcare resources.

You going in may save the patient, it may not. But you cant save any patients in the weeks you’re laying in a hospital bed or using a vent yourself.

People are going to die. Do not become one of them.

There is no emergency in a pandemic.

During the Ebola outbreak, people were dying. But at no point did we rush in, we took the 10 minutes to put on our PPE with our spotter. If we didn’t have proper PPE we did NOT go in.

There is no emergency in a pandemic.

You may work in long term care, and want to rush in to save a patient you have had for years. Do not go in without your PPE.

There is no emergency in a pandemic.

You may have a survivor in the room, screaming at you to come in because their mother is crashing. Do not go in without your PPE.

There is no emergency in a pandemic.

You may have an infected woman in labor. Screaming for help. Do not go in without your PPE.

There is no emergency in a pandemic.

You may have a self-quarantined patient with a gunshot wound who is bleeding out. Do not go in there without your PPE.

There is no emergency in a pandemic.

Doing nothing may be the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do in your life.

Many of you say, I could never do that. I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from rushing in and saving my patient.

Liberian nurses and doctors said the same thing, and many did run in to help, saying PPE be damned. My patients need me.

Then they became infected, they infected others. And they died.

They didn’t help anyone after that.

Do not let the deaths of hundreds of healthcare workers be forgotten."

 Words of Aaron Mishler, nurse, former Army medic and Ebola responder in West Africa in 2014-2015.

 

https://acanticleforlazarus.com/2020/03/23/there-is-no-emergency-in-a-pandemic/


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