It’s currently “all hands on deck” at local hospitals. At Eskenazi, Carlos reports, “we’ve been running three to four times the typical number of patients on ventilators because of COVID-19.”
Every week, there’s new information about the progression of the novel coronavirus.
“I feel like I need to make more and more videos,” said Carlos. “It’s hard to keep up.”
He uses his personal Twitter account to disperse breaking and relevant information daily. He also serves as medical education chair for the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and has facilitated several COVID-19 related chats through the ATS Twitter account.
“When someone comments on a tweet or retweets, it’s kind of like a peer review,” he says.
As an expert in pulmonary care, Carlos is frequently consulted by media organizations including National Public Radio (NPR), the Chicago Tribune, WISH-TV and others. He’s often called upon to explain the progression of COVID-19 into viral pneumonia and the role ventilators play in keeping patients alive until their immune systems can defeat the virus.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, Carlos’ videos on ventilation and critical care were being used by hospital workers in places where instructional resources are scarce. Neha Patel, MD, an IU School of Medicine graduate who rotated under Carlos during residency, witnessed this firsthand during the summer of 2017 when she traveled to Botswana, Africa, as a fellow with Beth Israel Deaconess Global Health.
A patient was crashing at the small hospital in the town of Molepolole, and Patel knew the patient needed ventilation, not just oxygenation from a mask. Patel was trying to explain the difference to a puzzled local doctor. After she finished with the patient, she found the doctor watching a YouTube video on ventilation by none other than Dr. Carlos, her former mentor.
“I said, ‘That’s the person who taught me about this!’” recalled Patel, now a hospitalist with Eskenazi Medical Group and assistant professor of clinical medicine and pediatrics at IU School of Medicine.
“In many parts of Africa, information is limited to what they can find easily and free on the internet,” observed Patel. “Graham Carlos’ YouTube videos are short and very digestible. It’s an excellent delivery system.”
Kara Goss, MD, a pulmonary and critical care doctor with University of Wisconsin Health, completed her residency and fellowship at IU School of Medicine and helped Carlos create some of the earliest YouTube videos in 2013-14.
“The original videos we created were ICU-related training videos that have been used around the world,” Goss said. Now, Carlos’ videos are being consumed globally by those treating COVID-19 patients.
“Graham’s got this infectious personality that could inspire a rock or something inanimate,” mused Goss. “He has done a good job of carving out bite-sized pieces of information for these instructional videos.”
Carlos says people have messaged him from all over the world thanking him for posting free, high-quality videos on critical care and COVID-19.
“That encouragement gives me the drive to continue,” he said.