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AIIMS doctor risks life, removes protective gear to save COVID-19 patient

The doctor said that in a dim-lit ambulance, working with personal protective equipment was not a viable option

AIIMS doctor risks life, removes protective gear to save COVID-19 patient
New Delhi, First Published May 12, 2020, 10:03 AM IST

New Delhi: A senior resident doctor of AIIMS has been advised 14-day quarantine after he took off his protective gear and put himself at grave risk to save a critical coronavirus patient while shifting him to the Intensive Care Unit, a senior official said.

“Zahid Abdul Majeed, a native from Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir, was not even able to break his (Ramzan) fast when he was called for shifting a COVID-19 intubated patient to the ICU in the AIIMS Trauma Centre, which has been converted as a dedicated COVID-19 hospital,” Srinivas Rajkumar T, general secretary, AIIMS Resident Doctors' Association, New Delhi, said.

The incident took place inside an ambulance around 2 am on May 8.

When Majeed reached the ambulance, he noted difficulty in ventilating the patient and suspected ‘accidental extubation’.

"I immediately decided to re-intubate. Owing to poor visibility through the PPE inside the ambulance, I decided to remove the goggles and face shield, and then re-intubated the patient as any delay would have led to imminent death of the patient," he said.

Majeed did not think twice before taking full-blown aerosol exposure from the patient and got exposed to the highest possible viral load just to deliver his duty, Rajkumar said.

It is important that the people of this country understand that we have a common enemy in COVID-19 and we have to be united against the enemy and not fight among ourselves. Have empathy for patients, fellow workers, health care providers and every living being around you, the official said.

"Zahid Abdul Majeed has been a compassionate doctor dedicated to his work. The RDA AIIMS appreciates the dedication of all residents who have stood in solidarity in the fight against the virus in spite of shortcomings and less than ideal work conditions all over the country.

“Senior doctors should appreciate their work and keep their morale high, take their feedback seriously and improve the working conditions," Rajkumar added.

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