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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Govt hospitals, nursing homes still have room: ICUs full at top private hospitals as cases rise

Data displayed on the Delhi government's Delhi Corona App suggests that critical-care facilities are still available largely in either government hospitals or smaller nursing homes.

Written by Astha Saxena | New Delhi | Updated: September 2, 2020 10:43:18 am
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As Delhi witnesses a fresh uptick in the number of daily Covid cases, ICUs in several top private hospitals are once again running full, suggesting a rise in ICU admissions. There are 79 private facilities in Delhi that have earmarked beds and ICUs for Covid patients, out of which 23, including top hospitals, are running full.

Data displayed on the Delhi government’s Delhi Corona App suggests that critical-care facilities are still available largely in either government hospitals or smaller nursing homes. Top private hospitals such as Max in Saket, Indraprastha Apollo, Fortis in Vasant Kunj and BL Kapoor have ICU facilities with ventilator support at maximum capacity, with many even having a waiting list of patients.

“From the last five-six days, the influx of patients in ICUs has increased. The trend has changed over the last few days and now we have no beds in the ICU available for Covid-19 patients… we were even facing trouble in getting an ICU bed for a patient from Agra,” said Dr DS Rana, chairman of board, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

Even at Delhi government’s biggest Covid facility, Lok Nayak Hospital, the number of ICU admissions have gone up.

“While we were admitting 40 patients daily a few days ago, the number has gone up to 60 as on Tuesday. It includes admission to wards and ICUs. Interstate mobility has resulted in an increase in daily admissions,” said Dr Suresh Kumar, hospital medical director.

The highest number of ICU beds with ventilators allocated for Covid patients are at Max Hospital and Sir Ganga Ram, followed by Batra Hospital, Holy Family and Indraprastha Apollo. About 53% of non-ventilator ICU beds are occupied at the moment.

“There have been changes in daily admissions but critical-care facilities with or without ventilators have been running full since the beginning. As the condition of the patient admitted at the hospital deteriorates, we immediately shift them to the ICU. Obviously with the change in restrictions, daily admissions have gone up,” said Dr Rajesh Chawla, senior consultant, Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Apollo Hospitals.

A total of 93 hospitals — 79 private and 14 government — are providing care to Covid patients. Out of this, 49 ventilator beds in 29 facilities are vacant. Overall, there are 1,216 ICU beds with ventilator support, out of which 486 are occupied and 730 are vacant.

While top private hospitals are running full, facilities in most government hospitals are still available. At RML, however, there are 14 ventilator beds in the ICU, of which 13 are occupied. “The drop in the number of patients was observed only in Covid wards but ICUs have mostly been running full. However, mortality rate has dropped over the last few weeks. Patients admitted to ICUs include those who are being referred from other hospitals at a critical stage, and those who are being shifted from the hospital’s ward,” said Dr Ranvinder Kaur, head of the Covid-19 ICU at RML hospital.

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