LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Bob Allder has been a respiratory practitioner for 25 years. He said three months of work on the frontlines of COVID-19 was emotional.
"You're up at 5:30 in the morning, you're in the hospital in the critical care units until seven at night. You get home, you eat, and then you gotta do it all over again," said Allder.
He says the staff at the hospital he joined were remarkable - and became family.
"It was the only people that welcomed you every day and appreciated you," Allder said.
The long days weren't without reward. Allder says his first day, he met a woman who he calls Becky.
"I was in the unit for about an hour and Becky started going bad and she's on a ventilator," he said.
Allder said she was approaching the point at which she would need CPR.
"I said give me the bag, which you have to manually bag with 100% oxygen. So I pulled her off the ventilator. I bagged her for an hour and 20 minutes," he said.
Allder describes the unit as organized chaos. With doctors, nurses, respiratory practitioners pushing medications for the heart, pumping oxygen, and communicating with each other about the best way to treat patients.
"An hour and twenty minutes later, we brought her back and two months, two months later, I saw her leave the hospital and I can't even tell you how that makes you feel," he said.
Allder said the majority of his patients were considered high risk - older people with pre-existing conditions.
He says hospitals have learned better ways to treat patients with COVID-19 and because of that, they're having better outcomes, with ore people like Becky, surviving and recovering.
Allder says the most important thing currently is for people to use common sense.
"The most important thing that transmits disease is your hands," Allder said. "So, I would tell everybody to wash your hands thoroughly, do the 20-second thing and if you're not feeling well, don't go to work."