Thursday 3 December, 2020

Dr Trotman to COVID-19 patients: Don’t take your oxygen off

Dr Michelle Trotman, Thoracic Medical Director at the Caura Hospital

Dr Michelle Trotman, Thoracic Medical Director at the Caura Hospital

A number of Trinidad and Tobago’s COVID-19 deaths are due, in part, to patients taking their oxygen masks off. 

Dr Michelle Trotman, who regularly interfaces with COVID-19 patients, made the revelation in the Prime Minister’s media conference today. 

“As they begin to receive this oxygen and they begin to feel better, they take the oxygen off. When they take the oxygen off, what happens is the cells that require it unfortunately suffer and can die and we’ve seen that some our patients who make up that 50 have done that,” she said somberly. 

Dr Trotman explained that feeling better, while good, can give the body a false sense of wellness. She said that coming off the supply too quickly can have a quick and grave impact on progress.  

“You have the opportunity lots of times to be communicating with your relatives and they sound okay and you might not be able to pick it up that they’re not okay; they may not be able to. Encourage people that if they are in the hospital and the doctor has prescribed oxygen, then keep it on,” she implored. 

The doctor also explained the dangers of ‘Happy Hypoxia’.  

“When you drop your oxygen, you actually have a period there where you feel like you’re okay and you’re happy but it’s not good,” she added. 

Trinidad and Tobago has lost 50 people to COVID-19.  

Minister of Health, Terrence Deyalsingh said that 65% of these deaths are elderly people who had co-morbidities. 

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