publicado em 15/05/2013 às 17h37:00
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Santa Maria and the Vietnam War

Simon Milton Pires intensivist in Porto Alegre (RS).

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Simon Milton Pires intensivist in Porto Alegre (RS)
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Simon Milton Pires intensivist in Porto Alegre (RS)

In 1967 the Vietnam War involved a growing contingent of American soldiers. The service needs to serious injuries, including victims of burns and poisoning, material and human resources demanded increasingly complex. The U.S. built in the coastal city of Da Nang a military hospital, in order to meet his troops. At this time, there was not exactly the specialty now known as Intensive Care. It was with astonishment that military doctors began to serve a growing number of patients suffering from poisoning due to the so-called Agent Orange and other chemicals used for defoliation of forests and location of enemy hideouts. People had as one clinical syndrome that involved, among other signs and symptoms, fluid buildup in the lungs and decreased oxygen capacity of the blood.

This new disease became known as Da Nang Lung and today, we intensivists, the call SARA syndrome Adult Respiratory Distress (or Acute Respiratory Syndrome and want others).

I made this short introduction to say that this is what can happen to the survivors of the fire in Santa Maria. More; would like to stay very clear to all that this kind of thing can not be satisfied (in a situation involving a number of patients so great) safely in any Brazilian capital. This is because there is simply no intensive care units in sufficient numbers or ventilators to meet so many people.

Amid such despair there is not one politician or health authority with honest enough to say what I wrote above.

There are at least four decades witnessed generations and more generations of secretaries and health ministers insisting on the idea of ​​community medicine and prevention. The country was transformed into a giant health post by my colleagues linked the rabble of the Brazilian left and are now part of the government. Are numerous prevention programs and family health through which robs the nation in all you can. Well, now I say, what we care physicians, we do with people who survived the fire in Santa Maria? Refer them to health centers? You do not build a public hospital in Porto Alegre since 1970! Instead, many went bankrupt and closed.

That the whole of Brazil know that's a lie the claim of the authorities that Porto Alegre has ICU beds sufficient to meet all these people! The state board of health may, if necessary, buy beds in private, but still is very lucky to have some available.

Several people who survived the fire in Santa Maria are coming here to ICU where I work. Surgeries are being suspended because of it. Colleagues (doctors) are on standby to meet these people (some old enough to be my children) and the police have arrested several alleged perpetrators. Nevertheless, one thing I have not seen so far: any representative of the government (mayor or secretary) be blamed.

It's a shame to say that this was all an accident. Accidents always have two characteristics: they are serious and sad but are above all unpredictable thing that this fire was not!

Now we are seeing the ICUs without respirators and vague enough to accommodate all these people. I maintain that it is a tremendous falsehood to say that there is no way to prepare for a tragedy like this. There is, yes! Respect for doctors, hospitals and investment in prison for those who fail to comply with the law by opening without permits establishment where people can get killed. Now what can we do with these patients is first to treat acute respiratory failure supported by respirators, retrieve them from the standpoint of hydration and foremost: try all ways to avoid the tragedy of hospital infection. Santa Maria to the dead we must add those who were on waiting lists, beds and other central institutions virtual so proud because the municipal health. These people gave their lives for survivors of SM were transferred to the ICU in their place. Were not young or beautiful, had no college degree, much less known names. Some died in the emergency room on a stretcher or any emergency service! Died of heart attack, stroke or severe community-acquired pneumonia. Not needed medication from the United States or of doctors in Canada .. because they had not even appear on television, right?

God help us, and nobody dares to write here that I'm being insensitive mixing politics with the pain these people. No one has the authority to tell me ..

With those responsible for this tragedy, I leave here my opinion the government was corrupt, negligent and incompetent, who killed all these young people!

It is such people who want to clog Brazil with doctors from Cuba and Paraguay, which sends doctors to Haiti and insists on community health, which now appears on television crying and hugging the parents of those who died.

End here, as in any war situation, the first victim of Santa Maria, as well as in Da Nang, was the truth never forget this!

Source: CFM
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