“We are fighting with death”: the desperate call of a doctor from Xela for the coronavirus and whose image went viral

According to the records, Quetzaltenango hospitals are above 90 percent saturation due to the vertiginous increase in coronavirus infections.

Currently, the Temporary Hospital of Xela has a capacity of 144 patients, while the Regional Hospital of Quetzaltenango, for 25 in intensive. The Rodolfo Robles Hospital, which cares for mild and moderate patients, is full and deaths are on the rise. Faced with this, a general doctor from this department who is on the front line in caring for covid-19 patients, in the midst of crying after the death of a patient who was given CPR for several minutes, asks the population not to have parties.

In the last hours, the testimony of a doctor from that department who is on the front line in caring for covid-19 patients has gone viral, and who in the midst of crying after the death of a patient who was resuscitated for several minutes cardiopulmonary, without success, asks the population to take care of itself and become aware of the situation.

Ana Iris Vásquez Cifuentes, who is also a native of that town, spoke with Free Press and Guatevisión about the situation the country is going through and the desperate and at the same time outrageous moment in which he made the publication.

“I had just given cardiopulmonary resuscitation and it was very painful, because the moment you try to fight, you try to save the patient, you are in a fight against death and it actually hurts you to have seen how in the turn before the A patient who was talking to him, who said he wanted to live, that God would first achieve it, suddenly he is fading, his lungs are gradually collapsing, and he has to say goodbye to his family. It has to fall into intubation, then at that moment when you are at war with death, where you are trying to save a patient, where you are giving your best, and you are not succeeding, and I think all the staff health and colleagues have faced it, it is a tremendous pain: not being able to meet the expectations for which you swore one day, which is to fight for life to the fullest or as far as your strength allows, “said the doctor.

“It turns out that I finish giving this cardiopulmonary resuscitation, we declare the patient deceased, I go to a chair that is in the same intensive care unit, I take off the mask, because I was sweating excessively and you can even see it in the glasses. At that moment that I was giving resuscitation, my tears could not help falling, and he said it with all his heart and sincerely, with his own humanity ”, he adds.

The doctor’s testimony reflects what the country is currently experiencing and the problems that doctors, health workers and hospitals are facing.

“At that time, as unfortunately many days we have lived in hospitals, and worldwide, even in first world countries, we are seeing severe mortality, which has been constantly experienced,” says the health worker.

He says that the moment of outrage came after “fighting against death.”

“I take off the mask and I sit down and I regret the pain that one feels, I see if there is any call for any new behavior. I go in and I see some news where there happen to be parties, there are crowds, and everything. So, where after having seen death in front of me, several patients die worldwide, not only in Guatemala despite the efforts of my colleagues, despite what I know that they live daily and I sympathize with them and I know that I am their voice. At this moment I say: ‘they partying, they making crowds, they not taking care of themselves and we seeing the lives of people who want to fight to live, to have another new opportunity, to get rid of that disease’ “.

“So I put myself in solidarity with those patients, with the patients who want to live. I thought that contagions could be avoided if there were no crowds, if there were no parties. Because if you get infected and someone else is contagious, you can deny them the opportunity to live. So that was what I thought at that time, in solidarity and empathy for all people and that we work as a team ”, recalled the doctor.

Ana Iris Vásquez Cifuentes is on the front line against the coronavirus at the Xela hospital. (Photo: courtesy)

Don’t let your guard down

Vázquez Cifuentes also indicated that in recent weeks they have been seeing an increase in people who are coming to request coronavirus tests, many of them for having lowered their guard when they received a dose of the vaccine.

“The patients let their guard down, because they arrive and consult not so much for symptoms but because they had contact with someone. So that gives us the guideline that the consultation is increasing for fear of hearing about a close case of covid-18. Many of them say, what am I going to do with my family now, is that I have a diabetic mother. So what we need is that all these measures and all this fear, and the precautions themselves, are not taken at the moment the swab is going to be done; but from the moment you are away from home, you are going to violate one of the biosafety laws, “warned the 31-year-old doctor, who has been treating covid-19 patients for 17 months.

Quetzaltenango is the second municipality with the most reported cases of coronavirus in the country. Currently accumulates 30 thousand 643, of which 2 thousand 217 are active and 872 have died. The first place is occupied by the department of Guatemala, with 235 thousand 954 cases.

In contrast, Quetzaltenango is also the second municipality with the best vaccination percentage, registering the application of 293 thousand 284 doses, according to the portal of the Ministry of Health, in which 202 thousand 170 have a first dose and of these 91 thousand 114 the complete scheme, to reach 36.1% of the population vaccinated with at least one dose. The first place is occupied by the department of Guatemala, with 58.1% of its population vaccinated.

Also read: Is Guatemala considering applying a third vaccine against covid-19?

“The patients who have been vaccinated, thank God they have not been more severe, they come and tell us” I have my two doses “, or” look, I have my first dose “and the symptoms are relatively mild. What we have noticed is the younger mortality. There are patients under 30 who have died, ”laments the doctor, who warns that all areas of attention for covid-19 are full and fear that with the passing of days and the increase in this type of party that Departments like Quiché have seen the number of cases and hospitalizations increase, collapsing the hospital network.

Despite everything, the doctor, who after the publication has shown the human side and fears of the medical community, indicates with a firm voice that they will continue to lead with courage.

“For me behind that suit is a daily fight. It is true, we study this career out of vocation, out of love, out of passion and out of service, as well as being an instrument of God here and being able to help. However, the pandemic does not stop affecting us on a sentimental level, on our emotions and having that self-control, having an emergency, giving someone resuscitation and at the same time knowing that we cannot leave the pain, because at that moment I am also suffering, but I have to focus on my work and give my best, ”emphasizes Vásquez.

According to the latest update of the Epidemiological Traffic Light, of the 24 municipalities in Quetzaltenango, 22 are on epidemiological red alert, and only one is yellow (Zunil) and one is orange (Quetzaltenango).

(Photo: Courtesy)

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