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In conversation with Dr Mehreen Qazi

Mehr had an option to go back to her family in Kashmir or would have simply opted out but she chose to serve the nation - Sabeer Ahluwalia

1. Ma’am firstly could you give me a brief background about yourself please?

I am a Senior Consultant in Medicine department at Max hospital Noida. I head a unit having two more consultants and 12 resident doctors. 

 2. Do you have a private clinic or do you practice at a hospital, or both?

I also practice in private sector. 

3. So far how many opportunities have you had to come across people testing positive for Covid-19, on an average?

Our OPD averages 700-1000 patients. Since the lockdown the inflow has reduced to 15-20 emergency surgical patients. Presently elective surgeries have been postponed. Since we are in group 2 we deal with acute surgical disorders. As per the international guidelines all such patients are considered as covid positive till proved otherwise. Hence its imperative that the whole surgico anaesthetic team take precautions to prevent transmission of the virus. 

 4. How are you as a doctor ensuring that you are safe and protected from this deadly virus?

We get three N 95 masks for one month, so we use them on alternate basis. We have also reduced staff to prevent congestion in the wards.

5. Is there a scarcity of gear? If yes, how do you manage?

In the theater we are using HIV safety kits as PPE kits are not freely available. However we have devised our own washable and reusable safety overalls. 

6. Could you please narrate some of your most inspiring experiences?

In one of the suspected covid patient requiring surgery we had to resort to CT scan as primary investigation which detected lung infiltrates. The patient required post op ventilation for a week. Meanwhile his RT pcr came negative twice. 

7. What has been your most challenging aspect since the lockdown?

The non availability of PPE kits, prolonged time for covid test and above all the absence of high speed internet has been hampering our efforts to combat this pandemic. 

8. What drives you to serving your country and humanity so selflessly day after day despite knowing you will be encountering potential life threatening situations?

The job of a treating doctor is to save lives and this is the goal that keeps me and my team alert and geared up to fight...We do not need to be afraid of death, our fate cannot be taken away from us. Be it a doctor or soldier, both are warriors, one at the hospital and another at the borders to safeguard our own people. Death is inevitable so better to go down fighting. 

And still we point fingers on our Kashmiri brother and sisters and they have to prove their patriotism again and again.



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