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Saturday, January 29, 2022

As cases spike, AIIMS stops all routine services, planned surgeries

Planned surgeries were resumed in mid-June after the massive second wave. Routine surgeries and procedures had remained suspended for nearly 10 months during the first wave of the pandemic and were restarted only in January last year.

Written by Anonna Dutt | New Delhi |
Updated: January 8, 2022 3:38:50 am
A healthcare worker collects a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test swab sample from a man as others wait, amidst the spread of the disease, at a market area, in the old quarters of Delhi, India, January 7, 2022. (Reuters)

With cases of Covid-19 on the rise again, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has decided to stop all routine admissions, procedures and surgeries, as per a contingency plan prepared by the hospital.

Planned surgeries were resumed in mid-June after the massive second wave. Routine surgeries and procedures had remained suspended for nearly 10 months during the first wave of the pandemic and were restarted only in January last year.

“Keeping in mind the increase in the number of Covid-19 patients, we have to curtail our other services. Planned surgeries have been deferred for now and will be restarted soon after the wave of cases has passed. Once we restart services, operation theatres will run for longer duration to accommodate the patients whose surgeries get pushed now; these people will also receive priority and their surgeries will be scheduled at the earliest possible slot available,” said a senior official from the hospital.

Although the out-patient clinics will continue to function, the numbers will be restricted. And, patients – both those coming for new consultations and those under treatment at the hospital – will have to seek prior appointment. Walk-ins will not be allowed, according to the plan, a copy of which is with The Indian Express.

All special clinics, such as those specifically meant for treatment of diabetes, rheumatic disorders, sleep disorders, which happen in the afternoon will be stopped, as per the plan.

As per the contingency plan, an order was also issued to shift the trauma emergency department to the ground floor of the hospital’s old OPD block. The standalone trauma centre has again been re-designated as a Covid-19 treatment centre, despite opposition from the faculty and a protest by the resident doctors.

A senior doctor from the hospital had informed The Indian Express that when the trauma services are moved to the main AIIMS campus, the space for trauma care reduces by 70%-80% even though the number of patients remains almost the same. In addition, these patients have to be accommodated to wards of different departments such as surgery, orthopaedic, or neuro-surgery, thereby, reducing the number of beds for the treatment of other ailments at the main hospital too.

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