There are three practices doctors have noticed at the country’s accident and emergency departments which severely compromises a patient’s ability to survive COVID-19.
Speaking during Saturday’s virtual press conference, the head of the Adult Emergency Department at the Eric Williams’ Medical Sciences Complex, Dr Kiran Suraj pointed out the practices which need immediate correction to improve a person’s chance of survival.
Not getting vaccinated
According to Dr Suraj, vaccinated patients who do become infected present with much milder symptoms and do not require as much care as those who are unvaccinated.
“The vast majority of people who present to our COVID-19 pathways are not vaccinated. We’ve also noticed that the minority, roughly 14 per cent or thereabout who are vaccinated typically have milder disease,” he said.
He said as of yesterday morning, the unvaccinated patients in EWMSC required 7.6 litres of oxygen per minute while the vaccinated patients did not require any among those in non-critical care.
The statistics coming out of the Ministry of Health show that 86 per cent of patients hospitalised for COVID-19 are unvaccinated.
Not seeking early medical attention
The other trend, Dr Suraj noted, was patients taking too long to seek medical attention, which lowers their chances of survival.
“When we talk to patients (in ICU), when we take histories and we go through what has brought them to the hospital, we realise that many of these patients who experience high severity of disease take a very long time to come to the hospital.
“Sometimes they may be at home, observing their symptoms, feeling ill, observing their symptoms for days on end before coming to the ED (Emergency Department),” he said.
“On occasion, if those patients had presented earlier in the disease process when they first became ill then we could have made an intervention to alter disease course for the better.”
Using unproven treatments
Apart from seeking medical attention too late, Dr Suraj said, many patients are doing so because they tried unapproved therapies at home which did not work.
“Many of them have chosen to engage in alternate therapies, especially therapies that have…at this present point in time…no medical basis such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin,” he said.