Land Settlement Commissioner S Chockalingam, who has been appointed as the nodal officer to look into the functioning of government-run Sassoon General Hospital, on Wednesday said the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) should aggressively conduct surveys to identify and treat patients with comorbidities.
“It is a fact that on some days Sassoon hospital sees zero casualty and the next day there is a sudden spike in deaths. It is worrisome…The primary reason behind the spike is that patients with comorbid conditions arrive at the hospital in a critical state,” he said.
On Tuesday, Sassoon reported 11 deaths, of which only one patient did not have comorbid conditions. Others were either diabetic or had high blood pressure or heart diseases.
While conducting the audit of deaths at the hospital, Chockalingam said they came across many instances where patients had been admitted in very serious conditions. “Some patients and their families delay in seeking treatment out of the fear of Covid-19. Secondly, private hospitals often send patients to Sassoon when things go out of their hands. On some occasions, families bring ailing patients to Sassoon when they can’t pay the rising bill at private hospitals,” he said.
Admitting that treatment of patients with comorbid conditions at a critical stage was very difficult, he said, “It is important that they get quick and timely treatment. Delay often proves fatal.”
Chockalingam said he has urged PMC Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad to intensify the drive to detect and treat patients with comorbidities. “The PMC chief said that they have already launched a house-to-house survey to identify and treat such patients. I told him that if we don’t aggressively identify, isolate and treat such patients, then we might face a difficult situation with death rate shooting up,” he said, adding that he would also speak to PCMC chief.
He said there was a need to involve office-bearers of residential societies in the task, besides families of such patients.
The nodal officer said he has also spoken to IAS officer and former PMC chief Sourabh Rao regarding the current situation. “Rao told me that they have started using pulse oximeter to check the oxygen level in patients with comorbidities. This is especially being done in containment zones with the help of self-help groups. If the oxygen level in blood is below 94, then the patient needs immediate hospitalisation.”
Meanwhile, Dr Rajendra Wable, dean of YCM Hospital and Medical College, said the hospital reported four deaths on Tuesday. “Of these, one was from Pimpri-Chinchwad while the rest were from outside PCMC. One of them died within 15 hours of admission. All of them were brought in critical stage, which gave our doctors very little time to save their lives,” he said.
Dr Pravin Soni, who handles Covid-19 patients at YCM hospital, said, “All four patients had comorbidities and were admitted very late.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines