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Jiang Baoguo: Everyone on the team is like my brothers and sisters

DEC . 24 2020
Peking University, December 24, 2020: In 2003, Jiang Baoguo, then vice president of Peking University People's Hospital (PUPH), was on the front line in the fight against severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Now, 17 years later, as president of PUPH, he led his medical team to fight against COVID-19 in Wuhan.

Jiang Baoguo

In recent years, PUPH, under Jiang’s care, has been committed to establishing a severe trauma treatment system, improving systematic treatment of critical patients, integrating multi-disciplinary medical expert teams, standardizing treatment processes, etc. In light of COVID-19, the hospital has not only optimized the process and norms of critical care, but also cultivated a quick-responding, high class medical team.

Upon his arrival in Wuhan, Jiang immediately began to manage the preparation for critical illness areas. In just 24 hours, the ICU officially opened, and in only one day, all 50 beds in the ward were filled. On the 14th day, the first group of COVID-19 patients were discharged from the hospital, and over 10 patients also be discharged one after another over the next few days.

Fighting on the front line

“When times were at its worst, the ward would be at its capacity of 50 patients,” Jiang said. Now, the overall medical pressure is not as great as before. But looking back, the treatment of critical patients has been one tough fight after another.

“Before entering the hospital, I saw a large number of ambulances transferring patients. Most of the patients had been sick for a week or ten days,” Jiang said. When he first arrived at the Sino-French City Branch of Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, Jiang was in a heavy mood. Jiang and his team members were facing the most critical patients. Some patients had COVID-19 along with other underlying diseases, and others had even suffered multiple organ failure. There was absolutely no time to waste.

All preparations had to start from zero. First, they separated the new clean area from the contaminated area, established a detailed and strict diagnosis and treatment process, ensured the coordination of materials and equipment, and repeatedly trained the medical staff in different batches. Next, they established an expert guidance group and a medical care group, and also stratified and individualized the management of patients, achieving both a high level of care and efficiency.

“After I was diagnosed in a quarantine point, I stay in a Fangcang makeshift hospital, and then I was sent to the ward managed by the medical team from PUPH. After going through all these places, I’m finally cured and discharged! I would like to thank the experts of PUPH,” Mr. Zhang expressed his gratitude as Jiang came to his bedside to give his blessings.

Jiang checks up on the patients

Leading the team

Jiang paid close attention to the medical and nursing quality of the front line medical team, summarizing and discussing the medical work every day. But at the same time, Jiang, cared for every member of the team like they are family. On the night of the ICU opening, he personally escorted the first batch of medical staff to the ward, confirmed the details, and repeatedly reminded them of the precautions.

"Everyone on the team is like my brothers and sisters. I even feel like some of the younger ones are like my children, so I must ensure their safety and health. It is because of each and every one of them that we can win this battle," said Jiang, who always stressed the importance of preventing and controlling the infection. Jiang also repeatedly told each team member to work on the basis of ensuring their own safety, and to do a good job in prevention and treatment with a rigorous attitude.

"Our team is a team that can fight hard," Jiang commented on the medical team supporting Wuhan. PUPH is a hundred-year-old hospital. At the beginning of last century, Dr. Wu Lien-teh, the first president, fought against the bubonic plague and achieved the first successful control of infectious diseases. PUPH has always been adhering to the social responsibility of saving lives, helping the wounded and serving the people. Jiang has stepped up to face this pandemic, and he was firm in mind that the battle against the coronavirus could be successful with support from his team.

Jiang and his team

Scientific contribution in Lancet

On March 9, 2020, Jiang and his team published a paper titled “Comorbidities and multi-organ injuries in the treatment of COVID-19” in Lancet, a top international medical journal. The paper is the first to propose the idea of classifying patients in order to individualize and target their treatment. It also suggests that more attention should be paid to the treatment of basic diseases and the protection of organs and systems during the treatment of COVID-19.

The paper published in Lancet

When treating critical patients in Wuhan, Jiang always considered the patient as a whole, putting all underlying diseases or comorbidities into consideration. To raise the effectiveness and efficiency of treatment, he and his team divided the patients into three categories: the first of which only had COVID-19 (about 30%), the second were the patients that had both COVID-19 along with some other diseases (which accounted for about 50%), and the last were patients who had suffered multiple organ failure and were in critical condition.

For the first group, the team would give antiviral drugs and oxygen therapy. For the patients with underlying diseases, the team has a multidisciplinary advantage, so they can both control the COVID-19 and treat the underlying diseases at the same time. For the most critical patients with multiple organ failure, attention must be paid to organ function protection, life support, and systematic treatment. All in all, the classified treatment of severe patients is conducive to the individual evaluation of the disease, which provides effective personalized treatment for the patients.

Medical professionals from PUPH

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, PUPH has responded to the national call, and Jiang has personally taken the lead. Through collective efforts, Jiang and his team have realized the treatment of many critical patients with high efficiency and high standards. One after another, groups of patients have been cured and discharged, and everyone has left with a new hope in their heart.

Written by: Cherlin Xu
Edited by: Huang Weijian, Ciara Morris
Photo Credit to: Peking University People’s Hospital, Lancet