Home Health News Coronavirus: Doctor 'has nightmares' as his patients die alone – Sky News

Coronavirus: Doctor 'has nightmares' as his patients die alone – Sky News

5 min read

Two weeks ago, Dr Steve Kassapidis, an ICU doctor in New York, told Sky News the scene in hospitals as “hell… biblical”.

This was the first time anyone had revealed the true extent of life inside the city’s overwhelmed hospitals.

A fortnight on, and New York is now at the peak of the crisis. Sky’s Alistair Bunkall caught up with Steve again outside his hospital in Queens. Exhausted, having worked seven days a week through the coronavirus crisis, he opened up about the effect it was having on him and his colleagues.

Dr Kassapidis said it ‘heartbreaking’ to see patients die alone

People will break down sometimes, weaknesses show, especially when you’re working on one of your own.

When you’re intubating a co-worker, it gets to you.

When your co-worker’s family member is intubated and is dying, it gets to you.

Unfortunately though, as physicians, we’ve just got to suck it up and go to the next one.

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It’s heartbreaking, especially when you have patients who die alone. For instance I had a patient who I’ve known for 25 years. A sweet old gentleman. He died alone. His family couldn’t come and see him.

Medical workers take in patients at a special coronavirus intake area at Maimonides Medical Center on April 11, 2020 in the Borough Park neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City. According to John Hopkins University, the global death toll from COVID-19 has now reached 100,000 worldwide with many experts believing that the number is actually higher
More than 8,600 people have died in New York state after contracting COVID-19

I’ve witnessed times when families call looking for their loved ones and unfortunately they passed away a day or two before and this family member didn’t know. That’s a hard call to take.

I can’t sleep. Obviously I worry about my family, my daughter, my loved ones. I worry about having PTSD later on in life, when it’s all over hopefully and I wake up from nightmares in the middle of the night.

If you’re not really in it you do not understand how bad it is. You can’t understand the full breadth of what’s going on. And it’s better off that they don’t.

New York ICU doctor says the coronavirus crisis is 'worse than 9/11' because when that happened, many casualties never arrived at hospital

March 26: ‘9/11 was nothing compared to coronavirus crisis’

The devastation of families is unthinkable. This wipes out families. Wipes out cities. Every day is etched in my memory. It’s heart-wrenching, it’s devastating.

No one was ready for this. Everybody tries to throw politics into this. No politicians were ready for this, nobody across the world was ready for this.

:: Listen to Divided States on Apple podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Spreaker

This has ripped through Europe, through China, through the US and it’s going to continue to do so and this is the worst enemy to have because you can’t see see them.

This is endless and it keeps coming. Comes in waves. You can’t let your guard down, can’t sleep.

You’ve got to keep fighting because remember every time we don’t fight, every time we slip, somebody dies.

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