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Monday, April 19, 2021

‘Many below 50 are coming to PGI with high severity of Covid’

The oldest patient admitted in NHE has been 94 years and the youngest has been of one hour only.

Written by Parul | Chandigarh |
April 6, 2021 8:34:20 am
Chandigarh's PGIMER to suspend its OPDs starting MondayThe PGIMER Administration has decided to suspend physical examination of patients at the Outpatient Departments (OPDs) of the institute starting Monday. (File)

Last week PGIMER completed one year of Covid positive patient care at Nehru Hospital Extension, the dedicated Covid Hospital of the Institute.

Tracing the journey of how the dedicated hospital rose to the occasion during the pandemic, Prof G D Puri, Dean (Academic) and Head, Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, who spear-headed the Covid-19 initiative in PGIMER shared, “The crucial decision of dedicating the newly built Nehru Hospital Extension building to the care of Covid positive patients was a remarkable step towards quality patient care. Since March 31, 2020, when we admitted the first positive patient in NHE, we have taken care of over 3,200 seriously ill Covid-positive patients from across the region. With a recovery rate of 81 per cent among moderate to severe cases, the healthcare workers in NHE put in their best to save precious lives.”

The oldest patient admitted in NHE has been 94 years and the youngest has been of one hour only. With 512 major and minor operation theatre procedures, NHE has been steadfast in serving Covid patients without any respite through the year, added Prof Puri.

“More than 4,500 healthcare workers have been posted to the Covid hospital, and only 30 of them were detected to be Covid positive, many of whom acquired it from the community rather than the hospital. This is one of the lowest rates of Covid positivity amongst healthcare workers directly in contact with patients anywhere in the world,” added Prof Puri.

But looking at the sharp surge of cases in Chandigarh, with April 4 recording 341 cases, highest since the middle of September, Prof Puri agreed that the situation is a cause of worry, as with the increase in cases, mortality will rise, hospitals will be burdened, and will face shortage of beds.

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The Institute has 300 beds for Covid patients, with more than 180 occupied, with the critically ill Covid patients occupying the 50 ICU beds, and the emergency wards for acute respiratory infections also full. “Since the middle of February, we have been warning people about how cases will rise again if we are not careful, and we are witnessing yet another surge. Whether the virus strain is more infectious or people have become negligent and are taking less precautions, I can’t say, but the rallies, melas, festivities, elections have taken a toll. The wards, OPDS are 90 per cent full and more and more patients of surgery, trauma, emergency are testing positive,” he said.

Prof Puri agreed that over a year, they have more experience of dealing with the disease, be it treatment protocol, streamlining the working of the NHE. “While we are better armed against it, yet, when numbers peak and cases are high, the outcomes are less than optimum and management is less. This time, we are seeing many patients below 50 with high severity of Covid. Despite no comorbidity, they are very sick and have to be admitted to the ICU, with some on ventilators. Our advice is to take all precautions, wear masks, avoid unnecessary activity, get vaccinated, desist from a use of steroids in early stage of the disease, get tested and treated and if the saturation drops while walking, see a doctor immediately and don’t delay treatment,” summed up Prof Puri.

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