Medical personnel going the extra mile with dance, music in Bengaluru


‘Many patients are frustrated, depressed and anxious. Music therapy definitely helps in cases of ICU psychosis,’ says Samit Havinal, a doctor and proprietor of Shreyas Hospital.

Nagu… nagu.. nagu.. nagu… chukki tare naachuvante omme nee nagu…” (smile… smile… just smile once to put the stars to shame).

Recently, videos of medical personnel in PPE kits jiving to the beats of this popular Kannada film song inside an ICU at a private hospital went viral on social media. The staff even ensured a few patients admitted there moved to the beats.

Over the past few days, videos of medical personnel – doctors and nurses – posted in the ICUs of many private hospitals dancing to cheer the patients are being widely circulated on social media.

Samit Havinal, a doctor and proprietor of Shreyas Hospital, says that the ICU is a scary, depressing environment for patients, especially those who are recovering from COVID-19. “Many patients are frustrated, depressed and anxious. Music therapy definitely helps in cases of ICU psychosis,” he says.

Some patients’ attendants gave portable speakers and requested the medical staff to play some prayers. “This sparked an idea to play peppy songs through the speaker in the ICU. The staff also jumped on board. When the patients saw the staff in PPE kits dancing, they became cheerful. This definitely has a role to play in their recovery,” he says.

 

‘Passive physiotherapy’

A similar initiative was taken at Dr. Chandramma Dayananda Sagar Institute of Medical Education and Research. Madan Gaikwad, special officer, told The Hindu that propping patients up mentally is half the battle won. “There were patients who were reluctant to get physiotherapy. But by making them move to whatever extent they can whilst on the bed is passive physiotherapy and also keeps them in good spirits,” he says.

Dr. Gaikwad also says that since music and dance have become a regular feature in the ICU, the mood of the patients admitted there has been elevated. “It’s a win-win. The medical staff are stressed and overworked. Dancing to music, even if it is just for just around 3 minutes, relaxes them and offers them a diversion,” he says.

Music and dance therapy has also been introduced in the COVID-19 ward at Sapthagiri Hospital in Hessarghatta. Patients admitted here are seen holding hands and dancing along with the medical staff in PPE kits.

Mind’s vital role

On the efficacy of such alternative therapy, Shubha Madhusudhan, clinical psychologist, says the mind plays an important role in recovery. “The ICU and hospital environment are depressing. Such activities will divert the mind, elevate the mood and relax the patients. A little movement, however restricted by the tubes attached to the patients, empowers them,” she said.

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While both Dr. Hanival and Dr. Gaikwad admit that the effect of dance and music therapy cannot be gauged, its effect on the patients’ mind and mood is there for all to see.

Patients’ pat for staff

Meanwhile, many citizens who have got admitted in the COVID Care Centres (CCCs) are appreciative of the facilities.

A video of 75-year-old Chikkatayamma, admitted at the CCC at Raitha Bhavan in Hebbal, hugging a nurse just a few days before her discharge is being widely circulated on various social media platforms.

One of the doctors at the centre says Ms. Chikkatayamma was brought to the CCC with oxygen saturation levels of around 80.

“Initially, we wanted to just stabilise the patient first and shift her to a hospital. Over her stay at the CCC, she bonded with all of us. She was such a bright spark and kept us all in good spirits,” the doctor says.

A number of beds, including oxygenated beds, are available in the 28 CCCs and triage centres. The civic body has ensured that these centres are all well-equipped and citizens admitted there are well taken care of. Medical professionals, including nurses, are posted in the CCCs and triage centres round the clock. Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, after visiting the east zone war room, urged citizens to utilise the facilities at these centres.

On Monday, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) chief commissioner Gaurav Gupta shared a short video of 103-year-old Sharanaiah. The centenarian was admitted at the CCC on Primerose Road for just a day. In the video, he says he is appreciative of all the care he received at the CCC and goes on to state that he hoped others with COVID-19 too utilise the facilities to get better.

 

Tweeting the video, Mr. Gupta said: “103-year-old Sharanaiah was treated and recovered from COVID-19 at the Primrose Covid Care Centre. His zest for life is infectious & encourages us to continue our fight against COVID-19.”



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Sagar Biswas

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