With Ahmedabad city witnessing a rise in Covid-19 cases, the number of infected patients admitted in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) has also seen an increase since Diwali.
As on Monday, between 90 to 98 per cent of the critical care beds were occupied in government and AMC-run hospitals, and the authorities have decided to add more beds.
The Ahmedabad city also recorded 13 of the 17 Covid-19 deaths across Gujarat on Monday, after the 57-hour-long complete curfew was lifted.
Last week, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation had to requisition 87 critical care beds at Shree Krishna hospital in Karamsad of Anand district shifting 25 patients there, as the city hospitals ran out of ICU beds.
The Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, which is the largest Covid-19 hospital in the state, plans to add 120 ICU beds at its 1200-bed Covid hospital at Asarwa taking the ICU bed capacity to 350.
“Patients coming to the Civil Hospital now are moderate to severe cases. So, there is a plan of adding the number of ICU beds. Also, a patient admitted in ICU generally spends at least three weeks of institutional care including both in ICU and non-ICU ward. This also adds to the demand,” said Dr Rakesh Joshi, Additional Medical Superintendent and in charge of the Covid hospital at Asarwa Civil Hospital campus.
At present, out of the 230 ICU beds, 209 are occupied, which amounts to around 90 per cent. Another 264 patients are on oxygen support. Thus, out of nearly 650 Covid-19 patients admitted at the Civil Hospital, more than 470 need critical care.
Recounting cases of demand for critical care beds in Ahmedabad, Dr Kirit Gadhavi, president of Ahmedabad Medical Association (AMA), said, “Such is the crisis for ICU beds that two days back, I had to call and check with over a dozen hospitals to get a patient admitted to a hospital who had come with a reference.”
Similarly, in Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society (GMERS) Civil Hospital Sola, out of total 50 ICU beds, 48 are already occupied.
“To meet the demand for critical patients, 15 ICU beds with ventilators are to be added within a couple of days. Preparations for the same are underway as this requires manpower,” said Medical Superintendent of the Civil Hospital at Sola Dr Pina Soni.
The hospital has a total capacity of 450 beds, where 200 beds have been increased after Diwali. All these 200 are non-ICU beds with oxygen support.
The AMC- run SVP hospital also plans to add around 20 ICU beds this week. At present, it has 70 ICU beds spread over two floors. The existing capacity of 800 Covid beds, which are occupied by 500 patients, will be increased by 100-150 within a day or two, of which 20 will be ICU beds, a senior AMC official said.
The similar demand is reflected in private Covid-19 designated hospitals. In the 77 designated hospitals, the highest occupancy, of 98 per cent, is for the ICU beds, where 383 out of the 391 ICU beds are occupied. Similarly, beds with ventilators too have high occupancy rate, with 188 out of 197 beds being occupied.
As on November 12, the occupancy rate of ICU beds was 76 per cent — 272 were occupied and 82 ICU beds were vacant — while for beds with ventilator the occupancy rate was 69 per cent — 118 beds with ventilator were occupied and 51 vacant.
The occupancy rate has seen a rise despite increasing the ICU beds (without ventilators) from 354 to 391 in last ten days. Similarly, the ICU ventilator beds have been increased from 169 to 197 during this period.
In case of private beds in the 77 requisitioned hospitals, out of 2,705 beds, 2,544 are occupied as on Monday.
Concerned over this, Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (AHNA) president Dr Bharat Gadhavi said, “One of the reasons that have come out from our initial analysis is that after Diwali many elderly patients are getting infected who require ICU beds.”
This can also be manifested in the repeated requests made by AMC officials as well as the Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who, in a video message, had asked young people to avoid gathering at public places.
“I request the youngsters to follow curfew completely. If infected, you will get well soon but if you go home with the infection and pass on to your elders, it will be difficult for them to recover,” he said.
To look into the feasibility of increasing ICU beds, the association has called a late evening meeting of pulmonologists and Covid experts from the city.
“We are also contemplating over laying out a criterion for ICU beds wherein patients requiring oxygen should not be admitted in the ICU,” Dr Gadhavi told The Indian Express.
Based on the analysis, AHNA is planning to meet AMC officials to brief them about the situation’s severity.x
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