Yesterday was the last time that Robin Rodriguez, coordinator of the Red Cross state in Mexico City, will be at home for the foreseeable future.
In an interview with El Universal newspaper, the paramedic said that he would stay in a hotel room outside office hours in order to keep his family safe. Rodriguez communicates with coronavirus patients on a daily basis, and the possibility of infecting those he loves is not worth the risk.
It is more fear than was experienced as a first respondent during the Mexico earthquake on September 19, 2017, which left 370 dead and 6,011 injured.
“Even in the earthquake, I didn’t see much fear,” he told the newspaper. Then, if Haykal collapses while trying to save people, he may be killed, but he knew his family would be safe. “The problem with this is the risk of developing a disease that you don’t know you carry until 14 days afterwards and that can be passed on to the people you love.”
Rodriguez works with a team of six specialized Red Cross ambulances adapted to transport people infected with coronavirus.
The units are equipped with a plastic capsule for isolation of the patient, ventilator, vital signs monitor and other limited medical equipment. Rodriguez says they try to keep the internal parts stored only with the essentials, making it easier to sterilize them among patients.
Ambulances are carefully sorted. A person who has symptoms of coronavirus must first call 911, and if he suffers from shortness of breath, he is referred to a doctor for examination to determine the severity of his symptoms.
If the Red Cross questions the need for transportation, a staff member will be sent to the patient’s home on a motorbike for a personal assessment. Only those with complications are transferred to hospitals.
Currently, 30% of the 186 Red Cross staff in Mexico City have symptoms on medical leave.
The agency has so far made 140 transfers of suspected coronavirus patients and 64 confirmed cases.
From the beginning of the epidemic to January, Rodriguez reported, the Red Cross provided personnel including N95 masks and training to help keep staff and volunteers safe from the virus.
Among the transfers, paramedics search for the Red Cross for other ambulance companies and help train them in appropriate ceremonies and use of protective equipment. Rodriguez says it helps calm their fear of injury.
And this fear continues in the lives of those on the front lines of the epidemic. The risk of infection along with stress, stress and the psychological effects of treating coronavirus patients negatively affects, and in at least Rodriguez, separates families.
The biggest challenge, he says, is “we are all afraid of the unknown.”
Source: El Universal (sp)
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