Lifebox Interviews Partners on COVID-19: Dr. Someshwar Patange

Dr. Patange is a consultant anesthesiologist in Nanded, Maharashtra, India, and responded to our request for COVID-19 information in his community with the following note and photos.


“I am Dr. Someshwar Patange, a consultant anesthesiologist working in Nanded city,
Maharashtra, India. I have been working with Lifebox since 2016. Together, we have
conducted many workshops on the Lifebox pulse oximeter in various states of India &
SAFE OR workshops at Nanded Medical College. I am always thankful to Lifebox for
giving me the opportunity to work for the betterment of Mankind.
India is the second largest country as far as the population is concerned, with a
population of nearly 135 million people. If the COVID-19 outbreak spreads then it will
not be easy to cope with. Currently there are over 31000 COVID-19 patients in India,
Maharashtra state has the maximum number of positive cases with over 7000 of those
cases from Mumbai and Pune. My city Nanded has 3 positive cases now. There are
suspects kept quarantined in various isolation wards of Rural Hospitals of respective
Taluka and Medical college, Nanded.

“Upon visiting most hospitals in my area, I have found that the hospitals at the
periphery do not have ventilators. I personally work together with Government
authorities like the Civil Surgeon and local leaders like Hon. Mr. Hemant Patil, Member
of Parliament in our area. Mr Patil and my team have visited all government hospitals
in our area like Primary Health Care, Rural Hospital, Civil Hospital & Medical college.
We helped them to prepare for the upcoming COVID-19 challenges. We met all
healthcare providers, discussed the problems they were facing. We acted as a bridge
to provide all necessary equipment to healthcare providers via our Hon, M.P. Hemant
Patil, District Collector Dr. Vipin Itankar, Civil Surgeon Dr. N. Bhosikar and District
Health Officer Dr. B. Shinde. Government has promised to provide the required
amount of ventilators very soon. We are hoping for the best.

“In India, anesthesia providers are not only working in OR but also as intensivists, perioperative physicians, pain clinics providers and in view of COVID-19 we can provide our services best in the ICU for management of patients on a ventilator or BiPAP
machine. Anesthesia providers are at maximum risk as they are dealing with
confirmed positive cases with maximum symptoms like difficulty in breathing. Many
times they will expose themselves to droplets containing virus during intubation or
extubation. Proud to say that our organization of anesthesia providers ISA – Indian Society of Anaesthesiologists has already submitted a list of all ISA members to the
Indian government to convey our message that ‘We, anaesthesia providers are ready
to work with the government at any hospital in country.’

“The government of India has taken very good & early steps to fight this COVID-19
pandemic, like early lockdown of the country, no fly zone, stopping public transport or
gatherings. The government started preparing hospitals for COVID-19 treatment. India
may face shortage of ventilators in future but many NGOs and companies have come
forward to manufacture the required number of ventilators. A little hope is always
there, Indian people have strong immunity as they are facing challenges of many
contagious diseases since many years. India is always facing malaria and for that we
have been taking chloroquine since childhood. Don’t know if it is helpful or not but
hope is always there as some evidence is coming forward that chloroquine helps in
COVID-19. Another hope is we all are immunized by the BCG vaccine, again don’t
know about its efficacy in COVID-19. As this is a new disease and no one knows
everything about it now. Just hoping for good!”