A beloved doctor at one of China’s top hospitals has died of sudden cardiac arrest after working a 24-hour shift, prompting medical staff to question workers’ hours and staffing at the facility, Central European News (CEN) reported.
Dr. Li Jing, 43, was the head of the emergency department at the Guangzhou Red Cross Hospital in Guangzhou, capital of south China’s Guangdong Province. According to CEN, Jing died at home with his wife after reportedly undergoing excess physical fatigue.
Jing’s co-workers described him as a tireless worker who frequently logged overtime and would go out of his way to lighten co-workers’ loads.
Yang Weiguang, one of Jing’s colleagues, said Jing put his head down on his desk in his office after his 8 a.m. to 8 a.m. shift ended, and that the doctor seemed feverish. But staffers didn’t express concern over the doctor’s tiredness as the symptom wasn’t uncommon among any of the workers.
“It was very sudden,” Weiguang told CEN. “He was in such good health, and he loved sports. It’s sad to see a doctor with 21 years of experience go like that."
Weiguang noted that Jing had led the hospital during outbreaks of SARS, dengue fever and the avian flu. He said colleagues will remember him as a modest and hardworking man.
"I believe the reason for this tragedy is that hospitals are too often understaffed,” Weiguang added. “There is not enough manpower to handle the work and to allow doctors to rest."