Burden of loss: Frontline Warriors discuss traumatic experiences of breaking the news of death to families

Nagpur: Amid second surge in novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in the city, the deaths are cause of extreme concern. While many suggest one should be prepared for any unfortunate news, the one whose breaking the news from another end, has agony of his/her own.

Nagpur Today spoke to some Frontline Warriors who are assigned — what could be the toughest job at the given circumstances — to break the news of Covid patient’s death to their families. Sharing their experiences the doctors discussed how they struggled to break the news, while elaborating the sudden death of patients. Many said the sound of cries left them numb and revealed how it has took toll on their mental peace.

Sudden death of patients, dealing with their loved one’s after their demise extract heavy toll on our mental peace : Dr Avez Hasan


“I’ve been working in Critical Care since last 17 years, however, I’ve never seen scenarios like today. Earlier, patient’s health would keep on deteriorating before he/she would succumb to the illness. But current circumstances are totally in contrast. For a moment you’re talking to Covid patients and assuring them that soon they will get normal. However, just after a while you see them dead right in front of your eyes. While this extracts heavy toll on our mental peace, it’s extremely difficult for us to make their kin understand the situation, says Dr Avez Hasan of Orange City Hospital (OCH).

And the tragedy is, our trauma doesn’t even stop there! After breaking the devastating news, we’ve to discuss paperwork with the family and had to informed them that they can’t take their patient home due to Covid protocols. This just add more woes to this dismay tale, added Dr Hasan.

Allegations on doctors haunt within: Dr Kushal Narnavre

Dr Kushal Narnavre of OCH who had just lost his spouse — another Covid Warrior — to the pandemic discussed the allegations raised by the family members following the death of patient and has also warned everyone about the severity of the infection in the second wave of Covid-19.

“I was at the forefront of this battle against Covid since the dawn of this pandemic. Following which I used to make sure proper precaution. However, couple of days back my wife succumbed to the virus borne disease. This has compelled my relatives to raise serious allegations upon me,” said Dr Narnavre.

“The second wave of Coronavirus far more severe than what we’ve seen before. Even asymptotic patient can turn critical once proper medication is not followed and this could prove fatal,” Dr Narnavre said while warning citizens.

While doctors are immune of breaking such news, lack of facilities for patients left us anxious: Dr Sourabh Meshram

Dr Sourabh Meshram of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) said that while this field requires medical professionals to be immune of such circumstances, the deaths attributed to paucity of beds, oxygen and ventilators are the most unfortunate casualties he has seen in this life.

“The feeling of losing someone you loved, is really personal. We can’t relate with a person’s loss unless we’re in that position. Thus, anticipating the anguish which could follow the news; we tend to break the news parts. First, we just inform kin that their patient is in critical condition. Owing to which some family members get the idea. And later we break the news. Though, this often leads to create conflict between doctors and patients’ kin; we are tend to resolve quietly. However, the recent deaths that have been attributed to paucity of basic medical faculties has left me and several other doctors at GMCH anxious,” Dr Meshram laments.

Shubham Nagdeve