The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of people all over the world. It is wrecking the economies, shutting down every single industry and putting people into a state of isolation. Compared to other nations, India still has the time to save the life of its people if it acts quickly. Devi Shetty, the chairman and founder of Bengaluru based Narayan Health, gave some impressive advice to manage COVID-19. He informed that learning from the mistakes and performance of countries like the U.S and Italy, we can manage the pandemic carefully
Devi Shetty said positively that the COVID-19 battle can be only won by young doctors and young nurses. In this advice to manage COVID-19, he explains how doctors, nurses, the healthcare management system and hospitals can operate hospitals and implement patient management. Here are some of the highlights of Devi Shetty’s advice to manage COVID-19 pandemic that emphasizes on how India can learn from the other governments:
- Soon, it is going to be difficult for doctors to manage an increasing number of COVID-19 patients through such fewer hospitals, ventilators, and beds. So there is a need to convert the big government hospitals into COVID-19 facilities. Converting beds into critical care beds with piped oxygen, suction and compressed air supply to run ventilators is the current need of the hour.
- ICU beds, ventilators, cardiac monitors, syringe pumps, portable X-Ray machines for Chest X-Ray, beds with oxygen, compressed air and central suction lines, blood gas machines, N 95 masks, protective eyeglasses and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), disposables like endotracheal tubes, suction tubes, PPE would be required more than the stock available now. These should be procured locally or imported. This should be done by the government for bulk purchase urgently.
- US and Italy governments are urging medical schools to provide senior students, interns, and final year medical students to serve the COVID-19 patients as a part of their training program. This will provide a large number of young skilled workforce. The Ministry of Health may seek special permission from the Indian Medical Council to permit young medical students trained in accredited medical colleges to work under senior doctors‘ emergency rooms, government hospitals, COVID-19 specialized ICUs on the basis of the temporary license. Indian Nursing Council should permit final year nursing students to take care of stable ICU patients.
- The first point of contact for any suspected COVID-19 patients should be government hospitals.
- Patients that do not require advanced critical care support should opt for monitored self-quarantine at home, as enough beds and doctors and nurses aren’t available to take special care of all the positive patients. Senior doctors can manage, advise and monitor patients remotely through WhatsApp, video-chatting or any chat-based app or cloud. At regular intervals, the monitoring team will call the patient to review progress.
- The safety of health workers should be paramount. A pair of PPE should be donated to physicians, nurses, and technicians. Camps at hospitals should be set up to educate workers about good practices to protect themselves.
- Ministry of Health should create 2 teams:
- A Medical team of general physicians, pulmonologists and infectious disease experts headed by a senior physician from the government hospital with members from both government and private hospitals.
- ICU team of anesthesiologists and intensivists headed by a physician from the government hospital with members from both government and private hospitals.
Such measures are crucial to optimize all the available resources properly so that the disease can be managed rightly and it can be easy to save the lives of the people. We have to act now since every day it is a struggle for all the people especially for the healthcare workers, doctors, patients, police department and all the underrated heroes that are constantly working to overcome this pandemic.