DEM Residency Program Class of 2021 Alumnus Dr. Marcus Sinewe has recently been deployed to Hennepin county with the Department of Defense (DoD) to assist Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) in Minneapolis, MN with their recent surge in COVID-19 patients.
Dr. Sinewe and his colleagues, 23 military doctors, nurses, and specialists, arrived at HCMC late last month. The DoD reinforcements were tapped from Langley Airforce Base in Virginia and Offutt Airforce Base in Nebraska. Dr. Sinewe and his colleagues were immediately thrust into the frontlines of yet another COVID-19 surge in the US as the nation enters its twenty-second month of fighting this global pandemic.
"It's the worst thing imaginable,” Dr. Sinewe says. He continues, “These are people that come in and can't breathe, and their hearts and lungs don't function like they're supposed to.” Dr. Sinewe and his colleagues join a team of doctors and nurses who have been fighting the virus nonstop for nearly two years.
Dr. Sinewe and the robust team he is assisting face a desperate situation every day: they continue to show up and provide the best possible care they can, knowing that not every patient is going to make it. He states, “these patients are very, very ill, and I think what is frustrating as a physician is there's only so much we can do for some patients. This is such a deadly illness that not everyone can be saved. That's a really difficult thing."
Despite these harrowing circumstances, Dr. Sinewe and his colleagues remain steadfast in their hope for the future of the pandemic in the US as they and countless other healthcare systems across the nation continue to work together to fight the virus head-on.
"I think there's nothing we can't overcome together," he says. "I'm seeing that here on the ground in Minnesota. That's the only way that we're going to get through this, is together. So, we have to kind of lift each other up."
Dr. Sinewe and his colleagues are currently on a 30-day deployment in Minnesota, but they are committed to stay as long as the virus continues to surge in the region.
Subject matter and direct quotes from Dr. Sinewe are from KARE 11 article “From the frontlines, military doctors at HCMC explain what it's like working with COVID patients in the ER.” You can access the full article and video here.