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Dr. Madhumati Verma is an important member of the Covid Response team in Jaipur, Rajasthan, where she is Assistant Professor Medicine at JNU Medical College.
“Today the Covid ward is vacant, thanks to the lockdown and vaccination that has flattened the curve,” said the doctor, who is also a Consultant of Internal medicine and Diabetologist at the college.
However, the path to this stabilization was a grueling four months for frontline health workers, and Dr. Verma was one of them.
Her experience of managing the Covid ward was a peek into the crucial role played by doctors and healthcare workers in fighting to save the lives of the patients against an overwhelming virus the world is battling against.
She was selected by the university chancellor as he had faith in her commitment to patient welfare in these extraordinary times.
“I along with a small team of three junior doctors for the last four months took daily ward rounds, took important treatment decisions and in some serious cases, fought hard to save lives.”
The unpredictable nature of the virus and the limited data we have about it sometimes left us grappling with the issue of choosing medical interventions quickly and cautiously, she says.
A patient, who seemed to be recovering one day, would not respond to treatment the next day, there is a complete reversal in his/her condition, Dr. Verma.
“Every day was a new day,” she says. “In some cases, we know the patient will not make it to the next day, however, we comfort them and smile through our PPE suits, and just keep hoping.”
It’s not just the patients that Dr. Verma and her team had to handle, but also their anxious family members who, unlike in normal circumstances, could not stay by the side of their loved ones.
“We have a counseling room where we share good and bad news with the patient’s families. We share with them the daily reports, actions taken,” she said.
Everyone just hangs on to hope, she says.
As health care professionals in these changed circumstances, we invest a lot of time in the conscious upkeep of protocols to avoid infection risks.
Diabetes ranks high among the comorbidities in patients with Covid-19 and worsens clinical conditions.
However, Dr. Verma says it is the badly managed diabetes that poses a risk to patients who have contracted the virus.
“In some cases, patients who have controlled their diabetic condition have come out nicely, and those with no history of diabetes but whose sugar is high, have become critical and needed intense medical intervention.”
Dr. Verma, who completed her PhD in medicine in 2014-2018 in Texila says the university offered a flexible study plan.
“I was practicing in Mozambique when I decided to pursue further studies, and Texila provided me with the most convenient option of balancing career and education.”
She said the university’s remarkable learning management system (LMS) is well-planned and ensures students meet deadlines with regard to article reviews, case studies, and thesis revision.
Texila’s multi-cultural environment has given us the international exposure we need to perform better in this field. “I carried this experience with me when I worked in different countries and was definitely at an advantage.”
Dr. Verma said when she was working in Mozambique she noticed that there was a culture of a willingness to share knowledge with each other, especially passing on knowledge to juniors.
“This is something I follow back in India,” she says.
A specialist in diabetology and internal medicine, Dr. Verma says that diagnosis is key in establishing the condition of a patient and determining treatment.
With 77 million diabetics India is among the top 10 countries suffering from this condition. “It is a lifestyle disease, and as much as timely medical intervention, and exercise, awareness about the disease and its implications are extremely important.”
Dr. Verma, there is a lot of reception for workshops and forums on diabetes.