Panamerican Journal of Trauma, Critical Care and Emergency Surgery
Volume 10 | Issue 1 | Year 2021

Response to the Letter: Acute Psychological Impact of Coronavirus in a Non-COVID Palliative Patient

Tulika M Agarwal

Department of Trauma-Surgery, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar

Corresponding Author: Tulika M Agarwal, Department of Trauma-Surgery, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar, Phone: +974 33648583, e-mail: mehtatulika@gmail.com

How to cite this article Agarwal TM. Response to the Letter: Acute Psychological Impact of Coronavirus in a Non-COVID Palliative Patient. Panam J Trauma Crit Care Emerg Surg 2021;10(1):55.

Source of support: Nil

Conflict of interest: None

Keywords: Coronavirus, Coronavirus infections, COVID-19, Trauma, Trauma surgery..

The authors have brought up a very important and often overlooked area of concern in this Letter to the Editor. Cancer patients who are not COVID positive often show higher levels of fear response, as it is believed that these patients with lower immunity could develop more severe symptoms if infected by the virus. However, an interesting research finding from Germany, published in the Journal of Cancer Medicine states that on the contrary, most cancer patients who get infected are asymptomatic. The suppression of the immune system’s response capability reduces the severity of the disease.1

During my work at the Trauma Psychology service in the Trauma Surgery section of the Hamad Medical Corporation, I have come across many such cases where fear of contracting COVID-19 has even led patients to attempt suicide. The same fear was also observed among non-COVID positive health professionals, including Traumas Physicians and Nursing staff during de-briefing sessions conducted following their deputation to specialized treatment facilities dealing with COVID-19 patients.2

I believe media is a great influencer when it comes to people’s perception of any disease and how it could affect them. In my view, media could help in building healthy perceptions by bringing out information that could lower the psychological impact of any such pandemic outbreak.


1. Hempel L, Piehler A, Pfaffl MW, et al. SARS‐CoV‐2 infections in cancer outpatients—most infected patients are asymptomatic carriers without impact on chemotherapy. Cancer Med 2020;9(21):8020–8028. DOI: 10.1002/cam4.3435.

2. Agarwal TM, 2021: ‘De-briefing Sessions with Trauma Physicians and Nurses Following Deputation to COVID-19 Treatment Facilities’, Qatar Health Virtual Conference, Doha, Qatar 20 to 23 January.

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