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“We hold their hands when they cry” M’sian Doctor Shares How Frontliners Comfort Dying Patients


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Source: @ameerfird9us | Instagram & Frontliner | Sinar Harian

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There is no doubt that Covid-19 patients are suffering in Malaysian hospitals. But doctors have had to deal with death more often than many are used to, and due to restrictions in place over hospital visitors, they are often the last people patients get to see before they pass away from the deadly virus.

Ameer Firdaus Zulkeflee, a doctor in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II,  spoke to WORLD OF BUZZ regarding how doctors on the front line of Malaysia’s third coronavirus wave administered end-of-life care during the crisis. He revealed that most of them can only comfort dying patients at their bedside on most days.

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He posted a photo on his Instagram story last Friday (28 May) showcasing a frontline doctor clad in full PPE while holding the hand of a Covid-19 infected patient. In the story, he wrote, “Most of the time, we are the ones who hold their hands when they start to cry, or when they take their last breath. What you’ve watched on Majalah 3 is real, all over the hospital.”

Covid Severity Hero

Dr Ameer described the wide range of patients they have admitted into the ICU ward. From patients who were able to speak normally using high flow nasal canulas but with shortness of breath, down to those who were fully sedated and needed the help of breathing ventilators.

He said they had special handphones used specifically for the patients to contact their relatives and speak with them. Video calls were made once every two to three days so that they were able to see their loved ones. Dr Ameer admitted that the most heartbreaking moment is when staff members orchestrate goodbyes over video calls and comfort patients who would otherwise die alone.

“We video call the relatives during the patient’s last dying breath. It’s absolutely heartbreaking. Our last effort is to give them a chance to see their loved ones before they die.”

“As of today (28 May), I’ve video called with the relatives of three critically ill patients, and it breaks me every time I make the call because they cry and constantly ask their loved ones to wake up. But deep down I know that the patient’s chance to survive is excruciatingly thin.”

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He said the nurses could not hold back their tears seeing family members bid their goodbyes to their dying relative. Some even cried while they took care of the patients in PPE.

“Sometimes, what they need is just a touch of a human being. Someone who can hold their hands and tell them that everything’s going to be okay and to keep fighting.” 

“Usually I tell them, “pakcik kena kuat, ramai anak cucu pakcik tunggu pakcik kat rumah.. pakcik nak jumpa diaorang kan?” (Uncle, you have to be strong. You have many grandchildren waiting for you back home.. You want to see them right uncle?) said Dr Ameer.

It’s hard to imagine that our frontliners have to go through this almost every day. To all our doctors, medical staff and hospital workers, you have all our respect! 


Also Read: “Don’t blame yourself if I don’t wake up” Says Mum To Son Before Getting Intubated

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Source: newsGP
Source: Sinar Harian

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