"Face to Face" Interview with Ye Yongan: TCM Doctors in ICU
Data from National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine show that TCM treatment of COVID-19 cases in Hubei province has reached 91.05%.
Reporter: In people’s mind, TCM are usually suitable for chronic diseases. Now, it is used in treating severe and critical patients in ICU. So, in this case, how can TCM help at this stage of intervention?
Ye Yongan, Secretary of CPC Committee of Dongzhimen Hospital affiliated to Beijing University of Chinese Medicine: After patients admitted to ICU, without active drugs, their blood pressure will drop. Without a sufficient amount of oxygen, their lives cannot sustain. At this stage, TCM intervention can improve their self-recovery ability of Qi and blood in their body, which can effectively activate their own potential. Then, the oxygen concentration need not be so high, indicating that some of the patients’ physical functions are recovering.
Reporter: In our mind, the efficacy of TCM treatment is slow, but every minute counts in the ICU. So, what do you do to buy more time, and how do you use TCM drugs?
Ye Yongan: If a patient’s health condition is critical, we must race against time. So, we usually break the routine in deciding what TCM medications to use, how to use as well as the proper dose.
“One formula for one person” means observing, inquiring, smelling and listening to, and taking pulse of each patient. At every step, TCM doctors are in direct contact with the virus.
Reporter: Observing tongue coating is a necessary step in TCM treatment. Because of the respiratory transmission of the virus, this becomes a high risk, who would like to do it?
Ye Yongan: Observing patients’ tongue coating cannot be avoided. COVID-19 patients need to take off masks so that we can observe their coating. Sometimes, we need to observe it from different angles, because observing tongue coating is very important and the change of it is very fast at this stage. I have been emphasizing that in treating COVID-19, TCM and western medicine should work together, and doctors should adopt integrated TCM and western medicine treatment. Without adequate integration, no good results will be achieved. This time, I am very glad to see the big team consisting TCM doctors and western medicine doctors. They are very united. No one looks down upon the other. This is unprecedented, and I certainly hope that this will continue.
As of March 17, the use of TCM treatment exceeded 99% in makeshift hospitals, and reached 94% in isolation centers. Chinese medical experts have brought a lot of medical supplies to aid Italy, Iraq and other countries, including Lianhua Qingwen Capsule and Jinhua Qinggan Granule.