Pregnant doctor treats low income COVID-19 patients

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on May 26, 2020 - Duration: 02:08s

Pregnant doctor treats low income COVID-19 patients

Dr. Zafia Anklesaria, who is seven months pregnant, treats COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit at Los Angeles' CommonSpirit’s Dignity Health California Hospital Medical Center, which mostly serves lower-income Hispanic and African-American populations.

This report produced by Jillian Kitchener.


Pregnant doctor treats low income COVID-19 patients

This is the moment when Dr. Zafia Anklesaria removed the tracheostomy tube from one of her first COVID-19 patients ...and she did so while seven months pregnant.

As she works in a high-stress role as co-director of an intensive care unit - she says her baby is doing well.

"I do try to reassure him when I get time to myself.

You know, I kind of look down and I'm like, 'it's OK, don't worry, we got this'.

But I'm a little bit worried that he's going to hear me talking in my most angry and frustrated tone all the time.

But, yes, I do feel that after a procedure, he tends to be a bit more active.

But he's he's really well behaved in the sense that when I'm doing the procedures, he's he's chilling, doesn't give me any trouble.” She’s been working about four 12-hour days a week in the ICU, and an additional one to two days doing pulmonary consultations with patients.

For Dr. Anklesaria, work is busier than ever.

The 22-bed COVID-19 ICU ward at California Hospital Medical Center has been at - or close to - capacity since the end of March.

“This may be because a lot of the downtown L.A.

Population tends to come to us and also because of the socio economic class that we serve.

People tend to live in close quarters.

They don't really have the privilege of good social distancing." The virus has all medical staff hustling.

“So if we don't do it, who's going to do it." Anklesaria admits she is finding it harder now to stay on her feet for long periods of time… and often comes home with an aching back - to her dog and husband, Aryan Jafari.

"She's basically going through all this, taking the baby.

The two of them are going through this experience.

From one side, I'm very worried.

And from the other side.

I cannot really express my worry to her because she's already dealing with so much.” BUT Anklesaria says she will continue doing her vital work as long as she is physically able.

"Once I started looking up whether or not this had any effect on my baby and I was more reassured that it wouldn't, and I told myself, my husband and my superiors at our company in the hospital that as long as I had adequate protection, I would continue to work."

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