In one day we lost three ICU patients due to severe pneumonia complications due to “COVID-@DIGITS.”
The three victims we lost in one day are 45, 53, and 73 years old, including eight men and eight women with eight children. All three patients have been on life support for more than 4 weeks, and have multiple complications including resistant bacteria infection, bleeding, and acute kidney failure and shock.
They were all receiving maximum support from ventilators, and there were no more ways to give them more oxygen.
We tried everything to keep them alive, but the virus won over us and them in the end, they died and destroyed their families.
Some families accept the information we tell them, make the difficult decision not to revive their family members when there is no hope that they survive, while others get angry, remain skeptical, and subject to their emotions towards those who love him No matter how bad we tell him.
One of my students was about to pass out, just kept crying after a long phone call with two daughters and two children of our 73-year-old patient, this patient was put on a life support tube for 31 days, But her organs were failing to do their jobs.
Her family wanted everything done to keep her heart beating, we tried but her heart stopped beating an hour after the call.
We tried to revive her by all means, we were even pressing her chest 100 times a minute, although we knew CPR wouldn’t bring her back to life, but we respected the family’s decision.
We gave her epinephrine injections trying to resuscitate her heart, but we couldn’t, the EKG showing her heartbeat was straight for 15 minutes, we finally had to stop our attempts, announce her death, and we consoled the grieving family.
Her young nurse kept crying after she was dead, she was exhausted and utmost devastating, yet she had to continue her work and care for three more patients in serious condition, and they needed a lot of nursing care
The danger of this virus is relentless. It attacks your body in different ways. And it kills you using different strategies. It’s a very smart and cunning virus. Never seen as doctors like this in our lives.
Eventually, you have a choice my friend: You can wear a mask and take a vaccine when it’s available, or you can defy science and reality, and be responsible for your death or death of someone in your family or community.
We will discuss the topic of end of life, the withdrawal of the competitor and some medical and spiritual ethical things on Facebook Live next Friday #COVID19
Dr. Sahloul is a pulmonary specialist in Chicago and the 2020 co-winner of the Gandhi Peace Award