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Top Chinese academicians become warriors in battle against novel coronavirus (4)

(People's Daily Online)    10:29, March 19, 2020

Qiao Jie

“We’re all racing against time.”

Qiao Jie, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and president of Peking University Third Hospital, led the second batch of medics from her hospital sent to assist Wuhan on Feb.1. Their mission was to build wards for treating severely and critically ill patients in order to save time, improve the recovery rate and reduce the mortality rate.

“We were all racing against time,” said Qiao. Her team, together with other assisting hospitals and local hospitals, built wards for treating severely and critically ill patients in just over 30 hours and promptly put them to use.

While Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, where the wards are built, was able to receive patients with mild or moderate symptoms, there were not enough rooms for severely and critically ill patients.

Qiao and her peers renovated the entire inpatient building, transforming general wards into isolation wards for treatment of severely and critically ill patients, and separating the wards into clean, semi-contaminated and contaminated areas to reduce infection.

Because it was hard to provide negative pressure wards for the patients, the medics employed exhaust fans to reduce the indoor air pressure. They also managed to equip each ward with rescue facilities, and guaranteed supplies of oxygen.

“We were busy for every waking hour, and sometimes we didn’t even have time to eat,” Qiao recalled, adding that the medics often reminded each other to rest in order to avoid being exhausted from lack of sleep.

Besides providing medical facilities, Qiao also organized training for the more than 400 medical workers in her team, many of whom lacked experience with coronavirus and were in need of training on prevention of the infectious disease.

To ensure treatment for coronavirus patients, Qiao guided an expert team to inspect the wards and led the construction of a telemedicine platform, inviting experts from Peking University Third Hospital, Peking University People’s Hospital and Peking University First Hospital to carry out remote diagnosis of severely and critically ill patients and optimize treatment schemes.

For the doctors from the post-80 and post-90 generations, Qiao served as a mother figure. She always took meticulous care of them, such as cutting their hair to make it easier to wear protective clothing, writing the name of each medic on their protective clothing, and making sure everyone had down coats to wear and access to electric heaters to keep warm on snowy and cold days.

As director of the expert committee of the National Center for Healthcare Quality Management in Obstetrics, Qiao devoted some of her efforts into investigating the infection and treatment of pregnant women after the wards for severely and critically ill patients began operating smoothly. She published her research outcomes in medical magazine Elsevier, sharing her experiences with international medical circles on the clinical characteristics of coronavirus infection during pregnancy and whether it can be transmitted from mother to child.

Qiao also served as an expert in the formulation of the sixth and seventh edition of the guidelines on coronavirus diagnosis and treatment. “With the deepening of the understanding of the virus, we have formed some experiences on how to effectively treat pregnant women and children infected with the disease, which can be incorporated into the diagnosis and treatment standards," according to Qiao.

As a science worker, Qiao always thinks long-term. "Now, more than half of the patients in our intensive care unit have been discharged, and the pressure for treatment has decreased significantly," she said, adding that she is currently studying the long-term effects of the virus on the human body.


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(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)

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