British Virgin Islands

Sunday, Sep 26, 2021

I Have Seen People Being Wheeled Out A Lot – Doctor On The Frontline

I Have Seen People Being Wheeled Out A Lot – Doctor On The Frontline

Acting Pharmacy Manager and Clinical Pharmacist at the BVI Health Services Authority, Dr. Jamal Wintz, said one of the downsides of his job in this COVID-19 era is how alone infected patients are and the number of bodies being 'wheeled out' of the hospital in recent times.

As of the most recent official count, there were 23 deaths associated with the disease, 22 of which has occurred in recent times and over 1,600 infections in what officials deemed an outbreak.

“As a part of physician rounding and as a pharmacist rounding, you just have this connection to your patients. You get to see them at their lowest point and when they are going home. That is something that is rewarding to you as a clinician; you can see that hope progression of a patient’s clinical course,” he told BVI Platinum News in an interview on Thursday.

He continued: “COVID-19 is different; you go into things basically just hopeful that your patient is going to pull through, the medication that was prescribed for them you hope that it has its intended effect.”

Lonely Disease

Dr. Wintz said with COVID-19, physicians and other clinical staff have had to limit their exposure to patients who are often very ill.

“I don’t see my patients. I see my patients via a chart; I can see their vitals, I see things remotely. I have lost that connection, I mean, you try to be connected, but it’s so difficult to have that intimate connection because it is an infection that basically removes that human connection. You can’t touch that patient, you can’t break a smile with them because you are under your mask, and that patient is really ill. That is something that is very troubling; that’s what I think about when I go to bed,” he remarked.

He added, “Especially in the ICU, you just hear monitors, machines, working to keep someone alive; that is something that you think about a lot. Yes you would see it in the past; you may see one person on the ventilator, but to see several patients incubated on a ventilator, the anesthesiologists, the nurses, the internal medicine team, pharmacists, everyone just taking all the time and resources to make sure that this person pulls through, that’s something that you think about a lot.”

Dr. Wintz further said while he hasn’t withnessed a COVID-19 patient die, he has seen bodies “being wheeled out a lot.”

“So that’s another sight that you have to get used to; they are not going through the door in a wheelchair, getting to see their loved ones. That’s the part that really rips apart at you because their loved ones can’t see them. For the most part, is it such a lonely disease, they go in alone and they come out alone unfortunately if they don’t make it.”

He revealed that he is also aware of when patients are in their final stages of life.

“I have been around codes; if a code is called, the person is going into cardiac arrest, they are crashing, but I try to limit exposure, you respond if you need to respond, but it is not normal times. You don’t want to charge into a room, and you are not adequately dressed going into that room, so you got to take precautions at the same time.”

He said when he learns of the patient’s passing, he often reflects on himself because apart from him being fully vaccinated, he is also human and “not invincible'.

"I can be in that situation,” he stated.


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