The anti-epidemic days of frontline doctors


The last two isolated people on the morning of January 27, nurse Nguyen Khac Sang breathed a sigh and thought about the New Year days, but the phone call at 10 p.m. all turned off.

“Male staff at Van Don airport is positive for nCoV, becomes patient 1553. The F1 of patient 1553 will be transferred to Field Hospital 2 – Quarantine Hospital of Lung Ninh”, Sang finished reading the message , took the coat and went straight to the hospital. There, his colleagues were running like a run to liberate old patients, rearranging departments ready to welcome Covid-19 patients.

Doctor of Lung Hospital welcomes a positive patient at 3 am on February 1. Image: Hospital provided.

Around 1 am, the first bus carrying 44 F1 people – the family members and colleagues of the patient 1553, rushed through the hospital gate. Already accustomed to this grim procedure for a year, Sang’s group immediately showed up, instructing each of them to disinfect their hands, changing a new mask, and sitting on a row of chairs two meters apart. Inside, five young doctors take turns exploiting epidemiology, taking oropharyngeal fluid for testing and arranging a ward for patients according to epidemiological signs and clinical symptoms.

During the night, each person took a step to process “Fs” and “heat” was pushed up another notch when five more nCoV-positive people were found, including the patient’s mother and 4 colleagues 1553. “One in one. In the next positive case, at least 10 people became F1. Only the first F0 had more than 200 F1. Only on 28th, the quarantine area welcomed more than 170 F1 “, nurse Nguyen Khac Sang recalls.

On the 29th, another “dumbbell” continued to hit the hospital. A small trader at Cao Thang market (Ha Long city) was found to be positive. This person has both Hai Duong epidemic and patient’s mother, 1553, has come into contact with many small traders in the market and buyers. F1 number increased dramatically. “He struggled for three days, until 2 am on the 30th, the hospital was full. Meanwhile, the higher authorities still had 4 F1 cases, we continued to wait for them to come,” said Sang.

It was three working days with “unprecedented capacity” of 34-year-old male nurses. Sleep is a luxury. He and the nurses did not have a minute to take off their protective clothing. Three days, Sang’s total sleep time is only about 6 hours, but he finds himself “not absorbed” compared to doctors and doctors who directly work with patients.

“By the third day we were very tired. There was a young female doctor who was still very strong, eagerly welcoming the group of 30 patients to make them settle first. After this group, she knew she could not hold out. Because a new group came again, had to go eat “, Sang said.

Quang Ninh Lung Hospital medical staff wait for new patients.  Photo: Hospital provided.

Quang Ninh Lung Hospital medical staff wait for new patients. Image: Hospital provided.

The person Sang spoke about was doctor Bui Thi Phuong Thao. She paused at 9 o’clock. Taking off her protective gear, in the middle of winter, her hair was wet, the mask was red on her face. Can’t see that this is a beautiful little female doctor every day.

“Try to eat, half the serving is fine”, someone reminded Thao, forcing her to try to chew some peanuts, drink a cup of soup so that the cooled rice piece could be easily washed away. Only 15 minutes later, she again wears protective clothing, continues to work. “We encourage each other with speed, speed. Tame translation then we will have time to relax,” said the 29-year-old female doctor.

Two waves of Covid-19 ago, the hospital received 3 positive cases, 60 isolated people. This wave was fast, strong and caused the most problems for them. By the morning of February 3, there are 22 cases of F0 and 260 F1 people being treated.

Although having experienced all three waves, this time, Dr. Nguyen Duc Doi, of the Emergency Recovery Department really felt “dizziness, tinnitus”. He works in the primary screening unit, each group of patients comes next. There were days when he alone examined 80 people.

The first night he stayed awake was still strong, but by the end of the second night he was beginning to get tired. Asked many thirsty neck, dehydrated people, eyes narrowed. He even had to hurry outside, take some cold air and shake his head to stay awake.

The distance from doctor to patient is more than two meters, wearing a mask, wearing protective gear, and a splash shield, Doctor Waiting is always in a state of ear strain but sometimes cannot hear clearly, sometimes have to ask again. Tuesday.

“I was near-sighted, while the glasses were blurred but could not be cleaned, my blurred eyes still tried to see,” he said and admitted once mistaking the patient’s last name, until he went to the hospital room to check again. detected wrong.

Entering the fourth day, two 7-storey buildings filled the room. The hospital officially announced to accept only positive cases, unable to receive any more F1. From this time, doctors and doctors have time to rearrange where to eat and sleep. Doctor Waiting for your first home call. The 10-month-old daughter who saw her father on the phone screen immediately cried. The baby was about to walk, speak, but the number of times he was held by his father “only on the finger”.

When his wife was born in March last year, he is currently receiving treatment for Covid-19. The day he was “released from the camp”, he was almost two months old. As soon as he arrived at the gate, he saw his wife holding her small children, leading the eldest daughter to stand in front of the house and smiling, the doctor hurriedly “threw away the stuff in the car, rushed to hug his wife and hug the children”.

Three days at home, the man rolled up his sleeve to clean the house and took advantage of hand washing his daughter’s diapers and clothes. At the end of the “vacation”, he returned to the hospital on duty until June 10 to return to the next time. Since then up to now, patients have had symptoms every once in a while, which means that the Doctor Waiting must stay in the hospital to ensure the safety of isolation.

In 2020, half of the Lung Hospital is used to set up Field Hospital No. 2, with the task of acquiring and treating Covid-19 patients. When the epidemic has settled down, the hospital is allowed to operate in half. Shrinking facilities, along with a sense of fear, the number of patients coming to treatment is only half of 2019.

“The hospital has to pay 50% by itself. But due to the sharp decline in revenue from medical examination, there is no additional income for nearly 180 employees, even having to borrow money from the budget to pay salaries”, Ms. Pham Thi Linh, president said the hospital union.

With 10 years of nursing, Mr. Sang has a total income from wages, toxic benefits and extra procedures … about 10 million per month. Last year, there were months when he only received a basic salary of 3.5 million VND.

Since he joined the front line against the epidemic in February, his wife and children have had to “evacuate” to Uong Bi thanks to their maternal grandparents. Two children, 5 years old and 2 years old, are taken care of by their grandparents, and their sister-in-law teaches each other to support each other. “I can hardly help my wife and children,” he said.

Also participating in anti-epidemic this year, technician Nguyen Tien Dat had to postpone the wedding three times. This Tet, he has prepared money to buy gifts and plans to receive them according to the custom of Hung Ha, Thai Binh. “I have volunteered to be on duty for Tet from last year so that this year’s Tet together with my wife and children can introduce relatives. Now, when we participate in the anti-epidemic treatment, when we are out of the epidemic, we must be isolated for at least half a month before we can return. “, he shared.

On January 29, Dat’s wife wrote on his personal page: “In the middle of the night, I got a message from Dad saying ‘Dad is on a mission. You two are at home well.’ So that’s your first Tet. I do not have my father at home. But Com promises to be good at not bothering her mother. He can rest assured against the epidemic, protect himself, and protect everyone. At the end of Tet, the epidemic is over, he will go home. “

Phan Duong

Hope Fund – VnExpress Newspaper organizes a program to relay medical staff on the front line against Covid-19. With mobilized resources, essential equipment such as medical masks, protective clothing, vitamins and essentials will be sent to local medical facilities that are directly treating positive patients, quarantine … before the Lunar New Year.

Readers can energize the forces at the center of translation here.

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