Felipe Nasser (São Paulo, Brazil) talks to Interventional News about his experience of the COVID-19 pandemic after contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus himself, saying that the infection and period of isolation “made me think a lot about my life.” “We are now prepared” and “know how to face a situation like this” in the future, he says, speaking of the capabilities and competencies of his own institution, as well as that of the global medical community as a whole, to responding to public health crises of this scale.
Nasser explains that the rise of the virus has led to a reduction in the number of patients being treated in the oncology department of the São Paulo hospital where he works. “We replaced our normal work with COVID-19 patients”, he says, adding that he has not just been treating oncology patients, but also those with vascular disease.
He goes on to highlight some of the practical modifications his institution has adopted, including the use of an N95 respirator when treating any patient, the separation of catheter labs—there is a specific cathether lab dedicated to COVID-19 patients —and the use of a negative pressure air filtration system. Physicians also now use impermeable scrubs and face shields, and the number of physicians in the room at any one time has been reduced to just one physician and one Fellow.