Tuesday, 21 January 2014

H7N9 flu death doctor hailed as hero for continuing to work while sick

translated by Michael Woodhead
The Shanghai doctor who died of H7N9 avian influenza is being hailed in the Chinese media as a hero for continuing to go into work despite being sick.
The 32-year old Zhang Xiaodong who worked as a surgeon in the emergency department of the Pudong New Area Renmin Hospital, died on the 18 of January from pneumonia complications of H7N9 infection.
In an article published today, his colleagues said he was a hardworking doctor who worked in a very busy and understaffed department and did not want to let his colleagues down. They said it was extremely exhausting working in the surgical department and it was not unknown for a surgeon to perform five appendix removal operations in one shift.
On the 16th of January Dr Zhang came into work feeling feverish and insisted on staying at work despite feeling sick. The next day he felt worse and had an 'IV infusion' before resuming his work on his shift. However, his condition quickly deteriorated and he became critically ill and was taken to intensive care. He was put on a ventilator when he developed chest pain and breathing problems. A CT scan showed that infection had invaded many lobes of his lung. The top experts of the hospital were called in to oversee treatment and Dr Zhang received the best drugs available, according to a local newspaper, The Morning Times. However, despite the efforts to save him, Dr Zhang died without making a recovery.
His colleagues said Dr Zhang would not have wanted to miss a shift because the lack of staff meant one of the other doctors would have had to have done a 24 hour shift to cover for him.
Dr Zhang left a wife who was seven months pregnant. The hospital has filed a report of industrial injury and his family will receive compensation.

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