As a palliative care doctor, I keep people comfortable during the last phase of life, dying, whether that takes days or years.
Both skills are being put to the test in #COVID19Pandemic.
We know that even in our healthcare system, we have nowhere near the resources we need. We do not have enough beds. We do not have enough doctors and nurses. We do not have enough vents.
They will do what needs doing, and they will answer the call of duty in the #COVID19Pandemic.
We do not have enough beds to hospitalize everyone.
We do not have enough vents to put everyone on life support.
We do not have enough to do everything for everyone.
That is the reality every single healthcare system including ours is facing with #Covid19.
20% will need hospitalization.
5% will need life support.
The ones who have serious disease will include
*some young, healthy people
*some young people with other serious health issues
*many, many frail, older people.
Isolation is the only way to protect them. When that doesn’t work, the best treatment for them is supportive care.
There is no cure.
That means dying alone and unconscious after weeks of breathing through a life support machine. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/04/02/826105278/ventilators-are-no-panacea-for-critically-ill-covid-19-patients
Ventilators can be lifesaving for some critically ill patients, but they're no panacea. The experience so far with COVID-19 is that the majority of patients put on ventilators don't survive.https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/04/02/826105278/ventilators-are-no-panacea-for-critically-ill-covid-19-patients
Dying on a machine is not how I want to die. Ever. Most doctors I know agree.
That’s why #palliativecare matters.
A #GoodDeath matters, especially now.
Via @TorontoStar: https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/04/05/the-dying-should-not-be-abandoned-palliative-caregivers-brace-for-heart-wrenching-scenarios-ahead-of-covid-surge.html
Palliative-care physicians are being advised to prepare for situations they never thought possible.https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/04/05/the-dying-should-not-be-abandoned-palliative-caregivers-brace-for-heart-wrenching-scenarios-ahead-of-covid-surge.html
* medications to treat pain and shortness of breath — “air hunger.”
* your family & friends can tell you they love you.
* your family & friends can say goodbye.
Think about it. Talk about it with your loved ones. This is the time.
It broke my heart. Because as a society, we should have been talking about a #GoodDeath and #PalliativeCare long before the #COVID19Pandemic.
The government must be honest with its people. It’s time.
Global News has obtained documentation from health officials sent to long-term care homes saying seniors in nursing homes should be kept comfortable if they contract the virus and not taken to...https://globalnews.ca/news/6779888/coronavirus-ontario-long-term-care-homes-preparing-families-for-the-worst/