Please get vaccinated

Tribune. We are at the end of March 2020. For several weeks now, we have been increasing the number of intensive care beds in our hospital day after day. There are now over 60 intensive care beds, twice as many as normal. Five resuscitators sleep in the hospital every night, compared to two doctors usually. We must take care of hospitalized patients, very often intubated and asleep soundly, sometimes even on their stomach. We must also take care of the incessant calls from the Samu who are looking for available beds to accommodate patients in intensive care. The phone rings almost continuously. And then, we have to go see regularly these four or five patients that we left in the traditional hospital rooms, for lack of space in intensive care, under very high oxygen flows and who would need to be monitored more closely. Five doctors was not too much.

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That night, it was also necessary to answer the phone several times to talk to the family of Mr. V., a patient in his forties hospitalized in intensive care for a devastating form of Covid pneumonia. This family, which did not have the right at the time (and like all the other families) to leave their home, to go to the hospital and to hope to be able to bring a little comfort to their loved one or in draw a little from him by being able to see him, touch him, speak to him. We are no longer counting how many calls there were that night and all the ones that came before it. They begged us and begged us to administer hydroxychloroquine to their loved one. Sometimes with tears, sometimes with screams.

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Even though we would have believed the prophecies of the time, this drug would only have been used to prevent disease or prevent a serious form. In any case, it was already too late. Mr. V. died a few days later. Despite the prohibitions in force, we had brought his relatives to him a few minutes before his last breath.

Evidence medicine

Mr. V. did not die because he did not have hydroxychloroquine. Mr. V. died because medicine failed to save him. Mr. V. died because the science of March 2020 did not know what was the right therapy to avoid this. Today we know.

Whether we like it or not, French medicine, European medicine, the medicine of the Western world is evidence-based medicine. We believed for months that we had the solution before our eyes, subtly hidden in a drug that would already exist and that we would use every day, but for which we would be unable to see its sanitizing powers. Now that we have a solution in front of our eyes, we no longer want to see.

Evidence-based, pragmatic, scientific medicine may not be the best way to practice it, but it is the one that society and our ancestors have chosen over time. It is that which is taught in all the faculties of medicine and which is practiced everywhere in France, in Europe, in the West. It is not perfect. It does not cure everyone or cure all illnesses. But she is our landmark.

The human being is not always exact

A solution is there. Yes, we know that a lot of people will have minor reactions to the vaccine injection. A few people are likely to have more serious reactions and some may die from it, undeniably. As little as possible, we hope. Some people will not be sufficiently protected by the vaccine and will still get the coronavirus. Some will say “it was useless”. Others will say “I shouldn’t have”. Yes, this is all true. This pandemic made people realize that medicine is not an exact science. The human being is not always exact.

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The same people who were ready to intoxicate the entire population with drugs diverted from their original interest and associated with notable side effects are today the first to find a pretense of scientific spirit and to try to decry the interest. mass vaccination, long awaited by the population a short time ago.

Humanity, society and respect

After more than eight months of bitter struggle, we are about to start a new fight. For months, the company tortured our minds by asking us what, if any, our triage or prioritization strategies would be for admitting patients to intensive care. For months, thousands of patients felt lucky to be hospitalized in intensive care, so much the fear of suffocation at the entrance of the hospital without being able to enter it was felt. Sometimes they even felt guilty for taking someone else’s place. However, it would now be so simple not to have to carry out these insolvent reflections any longer.

It is no longer a question of beliefs. It’s not about politics either. It is a question of humanity, of society and of respect. Let’s get vaccinated!

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An anesthesiologist-resuscitator at the AP-HP (Assistance publique-Hôpitaux de Paris)

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