Dr. Don Emery, 70, the Medical Director of the Intensive Care Unit at Chester County Hospital, is clocking 100-hour weeks on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19, writes David Gambacorta for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
This is not the first public health crisis he has had to deal with, a fact that makes him uniquely qualified to be in the thick of things at such a troubling time.
In 1984, when AIDS began to come into sharp focus in the medical community as an epidemic, Dr. Emery worked at San Francisco General Hospital. There, he was tasked with performing bronchoscopies on patients who were exhibiting some symptoms of AIDS.
“For a four-month period, I was personally diagnosing every case of AIDS in San Francisco,” he said. “I was giving 10 to 12 people a death sentence every day.”
Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Emery is seeing many echoes from the early day of the AIDS epidemic.
“The reason it feels similar is that (COVID-19) was something that came out of the blue, and we don’t really know all of what we’re dealing with,” he said. “We see different manifestations every day.”
Read more about Dr. Don Emery in The Philadelphia Inquirer here.
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