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On May 7, AIIMS doctor Zahid Abdul Majeed risked his own life to save a critically ill COVID-19 patient by removing his PPE to re-intubate the patient in the ambulance, which was rushing to the hospital’s trauma centre. Dr Majeed, who's a senior resident doctor at AIIMS, has been asked to quarantine after the incident.
As per reports, the patient was admitted initially at the main AIIMS building but was being shifted to the trauma centre, which is designated for treating COVID-19 patients. While shifting the patient, Dr Majeed noted difficulty in ventilating the patient and suspected mispositioning of the tube placed into the patient’s windpipe. He immediately decided to re-intubate the patient without further delay. As he could not see clearly because of the PPE he was wearing, he decided to remove it.
Dr Zahid, who hails from Wanihama Dialgam village in Kashmir’s Anantnag district, has been working at AIIMS for about two years. “My father called me today (May 10) and said even if I were to die from COVID-19, he would not grieve as I saved the life of a patient and may die as a martyr. It felt like a weight had been lifted from my heart. My parents appreciated the spirit with which this intervention was performed,” Dr Majeed said.
Dr Majeed added that all the healthcare professionals must wear PPE and his example should not be followed. “The patient could’ve suffered cardiac arrest in no time if the tube would not have been positioned right. In a dim-lit ambulance, working with PPE wasn’t a viable option and I quickly removed the face-shield and goggles since they were fogging up my vision. While keeping my N-95 mask on, I performed the procedure,” Dr Majeed said.
“This is the holy month of Ramdan and I reacted to a fellow human being in distress. As a doctor and a human being, I couldn’t have let harm come to my patient. The thinking and orientation at AIIMS are such that I always have seen my teachers and seniors go that extra mile for the patients. It does affect the way you start looking at your duty,” Dr Majeed said.