Jagriti Varshney- Operating for a COVID OT is not an easy task. The PPE kits you are wearing will drench you in sweat and will make it the most uncomfortable experience to breathe

“Being a junior resident in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ‘hospital’ used to be my happy work place since last 2 years. Unlike now, I never felt the need to visit any temple in last 2 years because I didn’t think of any other place safer than the hospital.

But this pandemic has changed it all. We’re sleep-deprived, burned out and constantly stressed out- making life and death decisions on a regular basis.

A patient who was 39 weeks pregnant with bad obstetric history of previous 2 abortions came to us in labour room. On 5th May, midnight, she was brought to us by her family. She was experiencing labour pain and bleeding since evening.

At first they tried to hide her COVID positive status from us with a thought that we may refuse to treat her after knowing the same, as this baby was too precious for all of them. The lady just looked into my eyes and said “Ma’am I just don’t want to lose this baby at all cost, even at my own.”

Therefore, after we acknowledged that she was tested +ve, we directly shifted her to COVID ward and then in COVID OT where she got operated within 1 hour, with all precautions and delivered a beautiful daughter.

Operating for a COVID OT is not an easy task, with your face shield going fizzy within minutes, with almost nothing that can be done in blindfolds, for you are playing with blade shots with a working field of bleeding vessels and muscles around, where one wrong cut can land her up in hemorrhage, risking her life that can almost succumb her to death. The PPE kits you are wearing will drench you in sweat and will make it the most uncomfortable experience to breathe and to make your knees capable to lift your own load.

During this pandemic, the fear of visiting hospitals and outnumbered COVID cases has lead to tragic outcomes for mothers and babies. Postpartum Depression and anxiety are also significantly higher. To deal with this situation, I have started a group on telegram, to reach out to the patients who are not able to reach hospitals in these worst circumstances, and then land up into serious complications .

I’ve tested positive for COVID and staying in isolation. My family back in Delhi is COVID +ve as well and I feel helpless and worthless as a daughter, as a sister, for not being able to reach out to them and help them. But, am I left with any other option? One can only help others, if they help themselves.

Infact, this pandemic has taught us to pause and reflect. So, cut yourself some slack. Nostalgia TV, daytime PJs. It’s OK to use comfort as a crutch. Comfort will help us ease back to life! Be good to yourself.” said Arushi Varshney

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