Despite the difficulties and risks she faces, Dr Suravi Pandey, a consultant in the Internal Medicine Department at HAMS Hospital, has been working around the clock to cure her Covid-19 patients and return them to their families.
But, as simple as it may sound, the emotional and physical strain she faces on a daily basis is incomparable, she claims.
The 33-year-old has been a consultant at HAMS Hospital throughout the Covid pandemic. The sheer number of patients she encountered during the pandemic’s two waves has left her completely overwhelmed.
“In the first wave, not many patients had low oxygen, but now almost everyone does,” says Pandey. This meant that many patients were at high risk and needed to be admitted. “Many patients required ICU admission, but there were only a limited number of beds available,” Pandey adds. “We had no choice but to convert the general ward into a makeshift ICU facility.”
Seeing her patients worsen in time has made her doubt herself too, leaving her psychologically broken. And it does not end here for her.
Her physical and psychological distress was skyrocketing as a result of having to treat all of the patients who were on the verge of collapsing. She recalls thinking the patient was doing well, only to find out hours later that he was not.
“I recall worst-case scenarios in which the patient died hours after a sudden deterioration of their condition,” Pandey says. “The most difficult part is breaking the news to the families. They ask us things like, ‘He was fine a few hours ago, what happened?’ It has rendered us speechless. Looking into their eyes and breaking the terrible news to them has caused me a great deal of pain, but that does not stop me from doing my job.”
It breaks her heart to see her patients’ health slowly deteriorate. “Some of them are so young, and I can’t help but wonder if I’m the one who’s falling behind,” Pandey says. Seeing her patients deteriorate over time has caused her to doubt herself, leaving her psychologically broken. And it doesn’t stop there for her.
Pandey, who lives in a joint family with children and the elderly, is constantly concerned about infecting her family, particularly her three-year-old son. With three doctors in the family, including her and her husband, she found it difficult to manage her time with them. “Having both parents work on the frontlines has also been difficult for our son,” Pandey said. Nonetheless, she has done everything she can to make the best of a bad situation.
She considers her job to be her duty, and she gives her all to the patients. Despite the difficulties she faces, she is determined not to let them interfere with her work as a doctor. “Even though it has been difficult, I will gather all of my strength to do my job,” she says.