The Blog

The Trenches of NYC: Pandemic, Wounds, Fear and Triumph

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This blog post was written by a member of the EO2 Team in the New York City area: Babak Nouri, DPM and Wound Care Specialist

Life has a funny way of throwing curve balls at you when you least expect it, however it is in those moments that the we must step up to the plate and make a difference. Not very long ago collectively life around the planet took a major hit and set back with the emergence of COVID-19. At first it seemed like it was a distant monster that would not reach our shores, and so life went on until it just didn’t anymore.

March 2020 will be forever a time in my life that can never be forgotten. As news began to spread that the virus had reached our shores, fear and panic quickly set in. The pandemic had hit NYC with such a dramatic punch that life quickly turned upside down. Going to hospitals, clinics and seeing our patients became a logistical nightmare and pretty much impossible. Hospitals became inundated with COVID-19 patients as the stories of severe sickness and death began to mount. Close colleagues of mine that worked as physicians and nurses would cry on the phone because they could not accept their failures in keeping everyone they could alive. Bodies were piling up just as fast as the hours of overtime our heroes were putting in to save the city that never sleeps.

My mother always told me since I was a little boy, “diamonds are just ugly rocks but dig deep enough and the beauty will shine”. Our EO2 team in San Antonio and New York knew we had to step up to the plate. We had a solution. We could assist patients who could no longer risk going in for wound care follow ups.  We rapidly converted to telehealth allowing us to follow our patients and give them support, as we knew patient’s wounds were not going anywhere and needed to be addressed. With the lack of hospital beds and critical medical equipment, it became super important that we did our part to keep wounds on the right path to healing. We needed to keep these patients out of hospitals to reduce the burden on the system. Furthermore, we needed to prevent infections.

We teamed up with the wound care center at Northwell with a proposition to help keep their patients out of the hospital. The most difficult wounds require advanced modalities to promote healing, prevent infections, and to ultimately prevent amputations. Patients with multiple comorbidities that were regularly going for hyperbaric oxygen therapy in chambers could no longer risk going in for dives as they were instructed to stay home and avoid outside contact as much as possible. EO2 was gracious enough to do their part by providing oxygen therapy at home via our OxyGeni® device, free of charge to any patient from Northwell that needed it. We spent many hours training and preparing the Northwell physicians as well as the Northwell home health system to provide our much-needed therapy to their patients. And therein lies the diamond in the rough. As Northwell began sending us patients, patients that had been in chronic wound states began to improve significantly and heal. Our weekly virtual follow ups allowed communication between the provider and our Clinical Specialist team giving both the patient and provider and additional sense of ease, which during these times was very hard to come by. Slowly we began being allowed in hospitals and clinics to support our heroes and their undying pursuit of why they took their Hippocratic Oaths. We began going to patient’s homes assisting the nursing staff on proper set up and application of our devices and dressings in full pandemic gear, and their families could not thank us enough for risking our own health and being there for them.

Life has slowly begun to crawl back to a new normal, although fear and this virus has not fully left us. Our work is not done. Now is the time where wounds that have been neglected due to the pandemic are in the most need of our therapy. We continue to keep pushing through and assisting our patients and physicians get their wounds back on track. I could not be prouder of the effort and contribution EO2 has provided for a community at the epicenter of a global pandemic. To our clinicians I salute you for your bravery. We had and still have your back.

This blog post was written by Babak Nouri , DPM and Wound Care Specialist for EO2 Concepts in NYC.

What is DPM? A doctor of podiatric medicine. A medical professional devoted to the treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle and lower extremity.