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Episode 21

Guest: Dr. Nicolas Mark

Pulmonary/Critical Care Physician in Seattle, Washington

Key Takeaways

  • COVID-19 patients skew towards older patients with comorbidities but young and healthy people are still susceptible to the virus.

  • Current shortage experienced is an information shortage: “Too much to read and no answers to key questions,” says Dr. Mark Dr. Mark created a one page document to help healthcare professionals in managing COVID-19 patients (linked below). PPE, available staff to work on front lines, negative pressure rooms are other shortages. A

A Closer Look

Experience on the front lines

  • Most, but not all COVID-19 patients are older with comorbidities such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

    • Alarming data shows that more confirmed cases of coronavirus are in young and healthy individuals

  • Most hospitals are full, but not yet overcapacity.

    • This is subject to change in the weeks to come, especially since the US is tracking on a similar trajectory as Italy

    • Even in the midst of a pandemic, there are other ill, non-COVID-19 patients who require intensive ICU care

  • To date, Dr. Mark has not personally experienced running out of PPE, however his colleagues have experienced shortages which have led to reusing PAPR hoods.

    • This can be done effectively without contaminating yourself & with the help of another person.

  • When seeing patients with suspected COVID-19, both healthcare providers and the patient wear a mask (not necessarily N95).

  • Front line workers are exhausted and stressed both at work and at home by the responsibilities of looking after others.

    • Having a good group of colleagues who support each other and a sense of humor helps maintain morale & sanity.

Further Readings

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