Updated: May 9, 2021 12:49:56 pm
In a move that has raised some eyebrows, the Yeshwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital has become the first civic hospital in Pune to allow family members to take care of critically-ill coronavirus patients.
One family member is permitted to remain within the hospital premises and attend to the patient whenever required.
“We have allowed relatives of patients to take care of the patient in case the patient happens to be severely-ill and cannot on his own go to the toilet. Though we provide bedpan to such patients, they are not in a condition to move and go to the toilet. They need help and we cannot provide a nurse and attendant to each and every patient,” said YCMH dean Dr Rajendra Wable.
Dr Wable said YCMH has some-critically ill patients who need ICU beds. “Since we cannot provide them ICU beds, we keep them in other wards. The severely-ill patients are not in a position to take care of themselves. And we also do not have so much staff to constantly attend a patient. Whenever a patient requires help, our staff call up his relative who is supposed to remain present within the hospital premises,” he said.
“We get a form filled and signed from the relatives that they will take all precautions while helping the patient in the ward,” he added.
Dr Wable said this kind of practice is only being followed in YCM hospital and not in other civic hospitals. “We have 650 patients but do not have adequate staff to care for each and every patient, especially those who cannot move out of their beds,” he said.
Advocate Manisha Jadhav, a resident of Nehrunagar, said one of her relatives, a senior citizen, was recently admitted to the YCM hospital. “The patient was admitted to the general ward. One of the relatives stayed with him. The relatives would take the patient to the toilet whenever required,” she said.
A couple of days later, the relative also tested positive. “Both of them have been shifted to a private hospital. My question is how can YCM hospital allow a person to go in the vicinity of a COVID-19 patient. This could only lead to spread of the virus,” said Jadhav.
Jadhav said the move is certainly in the interest of the patient, but is fraught with risk. “Not only the attendee runs the risk of contracting COVID but unknowingly, he may also spread it in the society,” she said.
However, Jayshree Marale, a retired principal of a PCMC school, who was also infected with COVID in March, said,”In the case of senior citizens, the presence of a family member works wonders. Otherwise, seniors if they are severely ill cannot leave their beds even for using the toilet. Also, if some family member is present around, the patient does not feel lonely and helpless. Most of the COVID-19 patients are in a state of shock and they need to be counselled and calmed down. This can be done effectively by a family member,” she said. “In my case, the hospital where I was admitted had allowed my family members to meet me and help me out…”
Dr Prakash Rokde, senior medical officer at Govt-run Aundh General Hospital, said,”The Aundh hospital does not allow family members to attend to the COVID-19 patients. However, I think if a family member is available, he can boost the morale of the patient. It acts as a soothing balm for the patient who is in a state of shock.”
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