The doctor and communicator Thelma de Assis, that received recognition in the whole country after winning the reality show Big Brother Brasil in 2020, actuated in anonymous way at the front line in Manaus (AM), when patients with Covid-19 died of asphyxia at the city hospitals. The anesthesiologist said that working in the middle of the tragedy was the worst experience of her professional life. The testimony was stated during the discussion table of the CoronaVac Symposium, an online event promoted by Butantan and the chinese pharmaceutic Sinovac, during this Thursday (9).
Before the fame, Thelminha worked as an anesthesiologist in three public hospitals of São Paulo. When she acknowledged the first reports of the crisis in Manaus, the doctor known as Thelminha allied with the artists that donated oxygen cylinders. Because of her role as the responsible of sedating the patients at the surgery center, she knew the gravity of the situation and decided to do something else.
“The oxygen is the first thing I must worry about when I do a checklist at the surgery center, so I can not sedate my patient. I got desperate by seeing people dying this way and because of the professionals that were losing their patients of asfixie. So I decided to go to Manaus”, she said.
The hospital bed’s just vacated after the deaths
Thelminha said that she got a vacant job as doctor in a Manaus’ Hospital, because at the time some professionals were suffering from burnout and the necessity of reinforcements was clear. “When I arrived there, I saw the worst professional experience of my life. We had to wait for a bed hospital to vacate so we could fill it with another 50 solicitations, and we knew that one bed would only vacate after a death”, she said.
Among the patients, the communicator said she was impressed with the amount of young people in severe states and deaths among the victims of Covid-19. “There was a lack of oxygen, medicine, glucose…a terrible example is that at the moment the science had to sit down and create protocols to protect from enunciated tragedies such as what happened in Manaus”, she concluded.
The president of Instituto Butantan, Dimas Covas, who also participated at the discussion table, emphasized that the tragedy that happened in Manaus did not serve as an example of political adoptions in the fight against Covid-19 in the country. “There was no learning. We are already seeing an increase in cases at Amazonas, but in the countryside, of almost 300%”, he said.
For the sanitary doctor and professor of the Health Public School from the University of São Paulo, Gonzalo Vecina, founder of the National Agency of Sanitary Vigilance (Anvisa), the Manaus crisis was already expected because of the lack of incentive to the containment viruses measurements in the capital of Amazonas.
Also participating at the discussion table were the journalist and entertainment presenter Marcelo Tas and the president of the Administration Council of Magazine Luiza and the Women of Brazil Group , Luiza Helena Trajano, who made a video appearance.