Secondly, when these patients with COVID-19 crash, they crash very quickly

Frighteningly Quick Deterioration

Secondly, when these patients with COVID-19 crash, they crash very quickly and crash very hard. Each patient is a ticking time-bomb, and they could be doing fine for several hours, and then — suddenly — they are gasping for air with plummeting oxygen levels and a plummeting blood pressure. One patient — a sweet woman in her 60s — was holding her own for several days. She was still very sick, but she was holding her own. All of the sudden, she became severely short of breath and was gasping for air. Despite getting multiple interventions, including going on a ventilator, she suffered cardiac arrest and died. We were all devastated.

What I’ve Learned Taking Care Of These Patients

This disease is unlike anything we have ever seen. COVID-19 has confounded critical care specialists the world over. It has upended decades of critical care gospel, and it has left very smart clinicians, scientists, researchers and regular bedside doctors — like me — scratching their heads. Each patient acts differently to the virus, and we need to treat each patient differently. What works for one, may not work for another, and this is different than what we have been used to. This is ultimately a good thing, and it will make all of us better clinicians in the end.

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