August 02, Sunday : Despite immense physical and emotional challenges, doctors are fighting for us. With an introduction from Dr Himabrata Das, Dept. of Psychiatry, TMCH, we got in a conversation with Dr. Ankur Khandelwal, from AIIMS, Delhi to learn about their daily struggles, being the frontline warriors in this crisis.
Dr Khandelwal, who originally hails from Guwahati, has recently completed his DM in Neuroanaesthesiology and Critical Care from AIIMS, New Delhi and is currently working in the Institute. Besides being a doctor, he is an exceptionally good dancer and whenever he gets the chance, he dances to boost joyfulness in his patients.
On being asked about his feelings during the initial stage of work with Covid patients, he shared that accepting the reality of never having faced such a situation before, made him realise that it was very important for the entire country to stand as a single unit. As a doctor and more specifically, as an Anaesthetist, it gave him the opportunity to stand right in front as a COVID warrior. He too has the fear of contracting the disease but, this fear does not discourage him from moving forward.
“The whole body sweats inside PPE, the vision becomes blurred due to fogging in the protective eyewear, breathing becomes difficult at times and there is even headache and dehydration for long working hours. But we doctors believe that since no vaccines and no specific medicines are developed against COVID-19, absolute precaution is the only way out”, said Dr Khandelwal while in conversation with us.
He further talked about the conditions of patients who are shifted to the ICU explaining that the treatment of COVID-19 patients depends on the severity of the disease with which they are present. Management resolves around conservative management with few medicines along with proper hydration and nutrition. Only the severe form involving respiratory failure has to be managed on mechanical ventilation.
AIIMS is indeed a dream institute for each and every medico in the country and he is always grateful to God for his ongoing incredible work experience in the institute. He firmly believes that the manner in which the institute carries patient care, teaching and research makes it the Apex and the most Premier Institute in the country.
To clear out some of our misconceptions, he showed us the fact that around 85-90 percent of the patients are either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic and make healthy recovery and even the mortality rate is very less. So, instead of panicking, appropriate precautions as advised by hospitals, ICMR, WHO and Government should be religiously practiced. Moreover, it’s important to eat healthy food, exercise daily and meditate
He motivates every aspiring doctor to continue chasing their dreams because he conceives that curing a patient provides the highest form of satisfaction and being a doctor gives one the highest privilege of serving the people of the country.
“Apart from being a very good student, Ankur was the backbone of our batting line-up and was more than handy with ball in hand. He was sensational on stage both as a singer and a dancer and SMCians from those times will vouch for it. His story is a reminder of how hard work and dedication are instrumental in securing success”, said Dr. Himabrata while in conversation with team Tezpur Buzz.