A viral point-of-view video simulating what may well be the last interaction some COVID-19 patients have with another person has gained 640,000 likes and 4.2 million views on TikTok.
The video, posted by user @KristineKapow, who says they are a paramedic and physician assistant, walks the viewer through a conversation that might be had between a COVID-19 patient who must be intubated and their doctor.
Intubation is a procedure used to assist those who cannot breathe on their own. A tube is inserted into a patient’s throat and windpipe to ensure that air can flow in and out of the lungs, typically pumped in and out with a ventilator.
“My name is Kristina, I’m one of the providers working with your doctor today,” the health professional starts. “I know you guys talked earlier about maybe needing a breathing tube if it’s gotten too bad too quick, and unfortunately we’re there, OK? I’m gonna be the one putting a tube in. I hate that I have to meet you like this, but I didn’t have a chance to make it into the room earlier; we have a lot of COVID patients here tonight.”
Then a text overlay suggests a possible response of a hypothetical patient. “I’m scared,” they “respond.”
“I know it sounds scary, but we’re going to sedate you, put the tube in, and help your lungs move air a bit better,” @kristinekapow says. “Right now they’re really struggling to work, really struggling to move any air, and that’s not good for you, OK? I went ahead and talked to your family, they know all about it, and they’re not going to be surprised if they see you like that, OK?”
The next hypothetical response from the patient is, “It’s hard to breathe” and “What’s that noise?”
“I know it’s hard to breathe right now, I know. Don’t mind those noises, it just means that we have work to do, and we need to do it, OK? We’re going to take care of you, I promise.”
The final hypothetical response from the patient is “I don’t want to die.”
“I understand, I understand. I know you want to live, I know. We’re going to do everything we can, I promise.”
In the comments section of the video, Kristine received praise for providing awareness of what seems to happen before someone is intubated, but she also received a lot of criticism. Several accused her of fear mongering or having an agenda.
“This isn’t fear mongering when it’s your daily reality,” she wrote. “This isn’t to scare you— it’s to share as close as real COVID patient interaction as I can.”
One commenter, who implied they work in a local hospital, said they aren’t ready for “another round” of COVID-19 patients after a recent influx.
Another wrote that her own mother was intubated—but that it, unfortunately, wasn’t enough.
“My mom’s last text to me before intubation was. ‘I’m frightened.'” they wrote. “She wasn’t one of the lucky ones, so this was her. Thank you for posting this.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to Kristine.
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