Ottawa physician reflects on two years of health care during COVID-19 pandemic

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The Ottawa Hospital’s Dr. Kwadwo Kyeremanteng says native well being care staff had been in a position to cope and rally collectively by means of overwhelming instances.

Because the World Well being Group declared COVID-19 a world pandemic two years in the past on March 11, 2020, an Ottawa doctor displays on how the well being care system dealt with the virus.

Dr. Kwadwo Kyeremanteng, an intensive care unit and palliative care doctor at The Ottawa Hospital, tells The Sam Laprade Present there have been two key time durations that had been notably difficult.

“One was in the beginning when our first sufferers had been beginning to come by means of due to the uncertainty, due to what we’re seeing on the information in numerous elements of the world,” he mentioned. “We had been anxious, turned overwhelmed, we had been anxious that we might get sick, we had been anxious that we might go it on to our family members — there was a whole lot of anxiousness and stress.

“By the third wave, which was about late April 2021, that is after we had been the busiest. That was after we had been all working lengthy hours within the hospital.”

In that second time interval, as an example, he mentioned intensive care unit workers had been held in a single day in hospitals — a follow that is not typical — to make sure sufferers had been receiving the most effective care.

“That was difficult; that was tiring,” Dr. Kyeremanteng mentioned. “It was traumatic seeing all these sufferers coming by means of, and so they had been actually sick. The factor with COVID at the moment, particularly the sufferers, it took a very long time to recuperate, for those who had been going to recuperate.”

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Fortunately, he mentioned most sufferers had been in a position to recuperate from the virus.

In keeping with Ottawa Public Well being (OPH) experiences, COVID-19 numbers throughout town look like trending downwards. On Friday, March 11, OPH reported 833 lively circumstances of the virus with solely 9 folks in hospital.

“We actually rallied collectively,” Dr. Kyeremanteng mentioned. “We actually bonded as a hospital care supplier — there was a shared objective. We had been there for one another, we had been there for our sufferers, we had been there for the sufferers’ households. Nevertheless it was positively a difficult time.”

He mentioned some areas of the well being care system had been ready for COVID-19, however the pandemic definitely uncovered weak spots. As an illustration, the virus simply unfold in long-term care services, infecting quite a few workers and residents.

“However we coped, we actually did cope,” Dr. Kyeremanteng mentioned. “Once I take into consideration the intensive care unit, we made more room in there. We had the capability to triple our numbers inside the metropolis. We had all that preparation in place that we by no means actually needed to go to that stage.”

On high of that, he mentioned Ottawa hospitals took a “vital” variety of sufferers from the Higher Toronto Space, which added to native COVID-19 numbers.

Whereas the pandemic did present how the native well being care system can enhance, Dr. Kyeremanteng mentioned it nonetheless managed to get by means of the worst of it.

“Total, I feel everybody was simply doing their finest,” he mentioned. “For me, I simply need us to study from this. I would like us to, each step of the best way, not method issues the identical method anticipating totally different outcomes.

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