Dr Tania Mahbub
In the ongoing corona pandemic, Nephrologists from different countries have described their work experience in the International Society of Nephrologists (ISN). Dr Tania Mahbub Nephrology Consultant of United Hospital, Dhaka described her experience as an ISN Fellow from Bangladesh.
Dr Tania Mahbub said that, since it is a novel disease, the modus operandi of COVID-19 management has needed to change over time in Bangladesh in line with our country's needs and national guidelines of COVID-19 management.
Early in March 2020, when a handful of corona positive cases were detected, we focused mainly on prevention, educational programs for health workers regarding the management of the new disease, and updated training on personal protection.
For all patients coming to the hospital, including patients on dialysis, there is triage for preliminary screening. When patients present with suspected COVID-like symptoms, they are managed in separate zones. Also, telemedicine service has been developed to prevent disease spread from the OPD.
Throughout this period, we emphasize maintaining regular dialysis as volume overload may erroneously mimic the COVID infection. Special precaution was taken for the Dialysis Unit as a potential portal of infection. We've also educated the patients about preventive measures, symptoms of COVID-19, and advised them to seek help through telemedicine rather than coming directly to the Dialysis Unit.
Initially, COVID hospitals were designated in the country. When community transmission occurred on a large scale, the Health Authority decided to treat both COVID and non-COVID patients in all hospitals. We divided our hospital into COVID, non-COVID, and suspected COVID zones. Eventually, we started doing RT-PCR in our hospital. Currently, we are providing renal consultation, dialysis of COVID patients in the Critical Care Area, and have built a negative pressure isolation chamber for COVID positive dialysis patients. In my experience, treating COVID and non-COVID patients in the same center is still challenging.
Sadly, many patients hide their actual history, thus posing a greater threat to physicians. Bangladesh has unfortunately observed a high rate of physician deaths due to COVID-19 within a very short period. I always emphasize wearing a proper N95 or equivalent mask/respirator to my colleagues whenever they come into contact with any patient.
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