Tag: Dinesh Palipana
COVID‐19 and Spinal Cord Injuries: The viewpoint from an emergency department resident with quadriplegia
Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) present distinct physiological and social considerations for the emergency physician. During the COVID‐19 pandemic, these considerations may generate unique challenges for emergency physicians managing patients with SCIs. Physiological disruptions may alter the way SCI patients present with COVID‐19. The same disruptions can affect management of this vulnerable patient group, perhaps warranting early aggressive treatment. The medical picture will often be complicated by unique social characteristics. The reliance on caregivers for activities of daily living can, as an example, increase the human resource requirement of an ED. Considering the vulnerabilities and complexities of patients with SCI, the community should prioritise prevention of COVID‐19 infections in this group. In the event that they do present to an ED, planning for and understanding their complexities will facilitate optimal management.
Halfway through medical school, Dinesh was involved in a catastrophic motor vehicle accident that caused a cervical spinal cord injury. He still went on to complete his Doctor of Medicine (MD) and an Advanced Clerkship in Radiology at the Harvard University.
When medical student Dinesh Palipana suffered a severe spinal injury in a car crash, he was told his dream of becoming a doctor was over. Now he’s Queensland’s first quadriplegic doctor, working at one of the state’s busiest hospitals. Dr Palipana tells his story in his own words.
I didn’t grow up wanting to be a doctor. And I certainly never imagined practising medicine with quadriplegia.
I was exactly halfway through medical school when my car aquaplaned on Brisbane’s Gateway Motorway.
MOST doctors study for years so they can help others but for Southport’s Dinesh Palipana, it is much more personal.
A month out from his graduation ceremony at Griffith University, the 32-year-old doesn’t just want to help others, he also wants to help himself.
“I’ve had a vested interest and a passion to cure spinal cord injury and cure myself in the process,” he said.
Part-way through his medical degree in 2010, Mr Palipana was driving home to the Gold Coast from visiting his parents in Brisbane when his car aquaplaned on a wet road and overturned near the Gateway Bridge.