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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Pune: Critical care beds not easily available across large hospitals

"Smaller private nursing homes are also referring sick patients who get critical and hence, sometimes it can get difficult to generate a bed as the recovery of the patient in the ICU takes long," authorities said.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
May 19, 2021 10:28:39 am
Patients at Pune's Naidu Hospital (Express Photo/Pavan Khengre)

Critical care beds across some large hospitals in Pune continue to be fully occupied with not just Covid patients but also those with post-Covid related complications.

“Most critical care patients are being referred to tertiary hospitals in Pune city from peripheral areas. In addition, there are cases of patients who have recovered from Covid but have contracted the rare fungal infection (mucormycosis) and even post Covid complications that are being admitted,” says Dr Avdhut Bodamwad, Medical Superintendent at Ruby Hall clinic.

Presently there are 16,523 active cases of coronavirus infection in Pune city. A total of 1364 Covid affected persons are critical and admitted to various hospitals while another 5010 patients are on oxygen support according to health officials in Pune Municipal Corporation. In Pune city, overall 4.6 lakh persons have tested positive for Covid-19.

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While new admissions have come down, Dr. Bodamwad said at Ruby Hall Clinic all their 50 ICU beds were full. “So far we have treated nearly 50 cases of mucormycosis,” he said. At Jehangir hospital too, authorities said that it can take at least a month for the patient admitted to the intensive care unit to recover. “Smaller private nursing homes are also referring sick patients who get critical and hence, sometimes it can get difficult to generate a bed as the recovery of the patient in the ICU takes long. Most of our 30 ICU beds are full,” Jehangir hospital authorities said.

At Bharati hospital, medical director Dr Sanjay Lalwani said that Covid cases have come down by 70 percent. “However, those patients who are critical continue to pull on for two to three weeks,” he said. Also at least 25 percent of the patients admitted to the ICUs are from adjoining districts where the caseload of Covid infections is high with the same trend likely to continue till May end, he added.

There are people who have recovered from Covid but who have suffered a fair share of lung involvement and continue to be breathless even on the slightest exertion. Also Covid affects the blood coagulation system of the body and hence the blood viscosity is higher. There are increased chances of a stroke and heart attack, Dr Lalwani said. “All our 75 beds in the ICU are full. We have also decided to reserve 20 beds for patients who are now testing negative for Covid after recovering but still are critical and require a high amount of oxygen support,” Dr. Lalwani said.

Dr Sanjay Patil, Chairman of the Indian Medical Association’s Hospital Board of India said that with the increased recovery rate, there are also several people complaining of post-COVID complications. COVID-19 takes a toll on almost all the essential organs of the body. It not only attacks the lungs but other body parts too due to which health problems crop up. Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 are exhibiting symptoms like cough, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), stress, chest tightness, depression, lack of sleep, brain fog, anxiety, joint pain, tiredness, breathing and neurological problems, or even chest pain. Apart from stroke and heart attack, even other conditions like diabetes, lung fibrosis, and hypertension are part of the post-COVID syndrome, he said.

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