By now it is common knowledge that among the very first COVID-19 deaths in the Philippines were doctors. Estimates from April 2020 indicate that 22 doctors had already died from the disease.
Last March 15, a 69-year old male with a history of hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and obstructive sleep apnea made his way to the emergency room. He was experiencing fever and myalgia and expressed concerns about possible exposure to COVID-19 at a conference held earlier that month in Clark City.
Nasal and throat swabs were taken for SARS-Cov-2 (what we commonly now know as COVID-19), in addition to a CBC and a chest X-ray, both of which came out normal. The bad news came the next day–our patient’s swab tests tested positive and he was immediately admitted. The patient noticed himself feeling out of breath, a condition known as ‘exertional dsypnea’, and his symptoms worsened to the point where the medical staff had to reach a decision whether or not to intubate him and supply oxygen through a mechanical ventilator.
This snippet might fit the profile and experience of a typical at-risk patient for COVID-19, except that the patient in question was renowned cardiologist Dr. Rody Sy. In this case, Dr. Sy was a patient that understood his dire situation and the pivotal decisions made on his behalf that could spell the difference between life and death.
The experiences and tragedies that befell the country’s medical professionals have provided the silver lining of being very instructive to those in the medical community like Dr. Sy, who can make interventions to prevent them. Why were doctors getting infected? Why were they not getting better? And what strategies would work best to aid one’s survival from a severe COVID-19 infection?
In this episode of Virtual Grand Rounds of the University of the Philippines-Philippine Health Insurance Corporation Webinar Series on STOP COVID DEATHS, titled ‘The Doctor as Patient: The Journey of Dr. Rody Sy’.we will join him in taking a closer look at the therapeutic and diagnostic dilemmas during the early stages of COVID-19 in the Philippines, what we have learned since then, and how we can better understand the perspective of the patient, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
The very first UP-PhilHealth “STOP COVID DEATHS: VIRTUAL GRAND ROUNDS” will be held on July 31, 2020 (Friday) 12nn. Register here: bit.ly/StopCOVIDDeathsWebinar15.