Notes from the Front Lines of Covid-19 in a New York City Hospital – Part 1
A Typical Day from a Doctor’s Perspective
(Note: Dr. Pfau’s son is a physician working in a Brooklyn, NY hospital. These are excerpts from his texts).
The Hospital is trying to expand quickly, with the peak expected in 7-21 days. Every available space is being used for patients. All pediatric patients have been transferred out. Pediatricians are taking care of stable adult Covid patients. Cardiologists, gastroenterologists, and rheumatologists are all caring for Covid patients.
9 AM. Every patient encounter takes longer because of my new routine – wash/sanitize hands, head covering, N95 mask, eye protection, gown, wash/sanitize hands, gloves. Talk to patient, examine patient. Remove gloves and gown, wash/sanitize hands, remove goggles, remove mask, remove head covering, wash/sanitize hands. Clean stethoscope. Do it all over again to go on to the next patient.
As soon as I sit down to review the charts, they call “Code” for an already intubated Covid patient. We respond, do chest compressions, provide medications, all to no avail – the patient has died. Fill out paperwork, go back to my office and sit down. Another “Code” for a different patient. Again, we do chest compressions and provide medications, and again, the patient dies. Fill out paperwork, go back to my office, sit down and review charts.