Every second counts
Four patients connected to machines. If the lamps on the monitors start blinking then within no time it can become a matter of life and death. Doctors and nurses come immediately and fight with everything that modern medicine has on offer. The time of day or night makes no difference. Adrenaline keeps the team wide awake.
Suddenly a respirator stops functioning. A technician must run immediately and find the problem. Oxygen is the magic word. If the satiety in the blood drops, the percentage of oxygen in the breathed air is increased. If 100% is reached then the game is over. Once the virus has destroyed the lung tissue then the last possibility has been exhausted. Death is then only a matter of time.
The relatives often have no idea how much our doctors and nurses suffer too. A death is like a lost battle. But there is very little time to ponder fate, since the next patient is waiting in the wings to be rolled on the intensive care unit and then the battle starts afresh.
A tube in the trachea, a measuring needle in the arm-artery. Antibiotics and steroids, blood thinning substances and inhalations. Physiotherapy and regular x-rays. Complicated ways of laying the patients in the beds and fine-tuning of the blood parameters. Blood-gas measurements and keeping the relatives regularly informed. “But a week ago, Dad was top fit,” says the distraught daughter, “why is he so ill now?” They simply do not know what effect obesity and long-term high blood pressure have for Covid patients. Criticism hails down, thankfulness is few and far between. Hysterical relatives and non-stop phone calls from family friends who mean well, but keep the show from running smoothly.
Diospi Suyana helps Covid-patients on the intensive care and isolation wards. But we also support other hospitals. We filled 20 cylinders each holding 200m³ of oxygen for the Essalud Hospital in Abancay. It is still a long way until we reach the end of the pandemic’s journey. Until then we will be on the alert, since every second counts.
A cordial thank you to all nurses, doctors, technicians, physiotherapists, x-ray and laboratory staff who are doing extraordinary things at this time./KDJ