With his expertise in emergent airway management, acute and intensive care, and perioperative anaesthesia, PDG Dr Chandrashekar Kolvekar, RID 3142, an anesthesiologist, is actively treating Covid patients over the last five months. Like all other doctors wearing PPE (personal protective equipment) while treating Covid patients, he too carries the risk of infection while attending patients.
Talking about the mental health of doctors and paramedics during the pandemic, he says “we are fighting both Covid and mental health challenges. Imagine wearing a PPE for almost 12 hours, taking the stairs instead of the lift to protect yourself and others. Neighbours shut the doors at the very sight of us. Almost everyone who calls us wants to discuss Covid.” He has been talking to his staff and colleagues and has asked them to “talk to me if they feel helpless or isolated. The least we can do is be there for each other in times like these,” he says.
Kolvekar reached out to a pregnant woman who was stranded in Chennai on the way to Coimbatore for her delivery. Responding to her husband’s call for help on Twitter, he got in touch with his batchmate PDG Natarajan Nagoji, RID 3232, in Chennai and got a travel pass arranged for the woman to reach her hometown where she delivered a healthy baby boy.
Again, through Twitter, he helped a man living on the outskirts of Indore, who had suffered a heart attack and needed medical attention. “The man was alone and his son who was in Delhi tweeted about his condition. I contacted PDG Ravi Langer, RID 3040, who arranged the hospitalisation of the elder citizen and also helped the son to reach Indore.”
But his service to those in need of his help doesn’t end here. Kolvekar wants to be updated about the health condition of the patients he had helped during the pandemic.
“I called them directly to inquire about their condition. You see, this business of service is very ungrateful,” he laughs. His daughter Dr Manasi Kolvekar is also involved in serving Covid patients.