Zahid Abdul Majeed, a senior resident doctor at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi, risked his live to save a COVID-19 patient in an ambulance on May 7, as he had to remove his Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to re-intubate the patient.
While the patient continues to be on a ventilator, the doctor has been put under a 14-day quarantine after the exposure to the infected person, according to The Hindu.
"My father called me 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 Zahid said on Sunday.
Dr Zahid Abdul Majeed hails from Kashmir's Anantnag district and has been working at AIIMS Delhi for nearly two years.
"Of course, this is not an example to follow. All healthcare professionals should use PPEs. When the transfer was happening, I realised that the patient's tube was mal-positioned and that without immediate intervention, the patient would go into a cardiac arrest. In a dim-lit ambulance, working with PPE wasn't a viable option and I quickly removed the face-shield and goggles while keeping my N-95 mask on to perform the procedure. I immediately reported the breach in PPE and was advised to proceed to quarantine,'' Dr Zahid added.
Intubation is one of the high-risk procedures for healthcare workers and COVID-19 patients, according to World Health Organization, which has advised implementation of strict protocols to limit viral exposure.
"This is the holy month of Ramadan 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 have always seen my teachers and seniors go that extra mile for the patients….it does affect the way you start looking at your duty,'' the doctor said.
Dr Zahid said that he has not met his parents in about a year now and wishes that the COVID-19 situation improves so that he can return to his village.
"I was worried about what my father would say but his reaction has filled my heart with joy and I feel so much stronger now,'' the doctor added.