AIIMS Doc Put Himself at Risk to Save Dying Covid-19 Patient. Meanwhile, India Continues to Evict Health Workers

Coronavirus

AIIMS Doc Put Himself at Risk to Save Dying Covid-19 Patient. Meanwhile, India Continues to Evict Health Workers

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

As if we didn’t have enough proof that healthcare practitioners were the real superheroes of the coronavirus pandemic, a Delhi-based doctor has reminded us once again how much essential employees have had to sacrifice for our general wellbeing.

Dr Zahid, a senior resident doctor at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, has won over hearts in the last couple of days after it emerged that he had put his life at risk, by removing his Covid-19 protective gear to help save a patient’s life.

A Twitter handle run by the association of AIIMS resident doctors later lauded the doctor’s act of “exceptional courage”.

According to reports, Dr Zahid was called in to treat a patient in an ambulance at 2 am on Friday. The doctor noticed that there was a problem with the patient’s breathing apparatus. Since there was poor visibility in the ambulance, he removed his face protection, and proceeded to “re-intubate” the patient wearing only an N-95 mask.

The story was uploaded to Facebook by doctor Sayan Nath.

If he hadn’t moved with such alacrity, the patient would have suffered from a cardiac arrest, reports added. Unfortunately, this also meant that the doctor ended up exposing himself to the deadly virus, and had to be placed under quarantine.

Dr Zahid, who comes from Anantnag district in Jammu and Kashmir, has been working at AIIMS for almost two years as a critical care specialist.

Over the weekend, several messages of support poured in on social media, both lauding his quick thinking and offering prayers on his behalf.

Even as Dr Zahid was lauded for his decisiveness, however, several other doctors continue to complain about being evicted from their homes, and not having enough PPE. As the last few months have taught us, healthcare workers have had to stand at the frontlines of the pandemic with very little public support. Unless you count the one-off round of applause from balconies, that is.

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