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Pune: Hospitals struggle to provide ICU beds to critical Covid patients, ask kin to look for alternatives

With more than 42,000 tests daily of which over 12,000 people are testing positive, hospitals are finding it difficult to manage the increasing load.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
Updated: April 19, 2021 11:34:35 pm
A Covid-19 patient waits in an ambulance outside a hospital in Pune. (Express Photo: Ashish Kale)

SEVERAL LARGE hospitals in the city are reeling from the pressure of providing ICU beds to critical Covid-19 patients, and have asked their relatives in general wards to look for other healthcare facilities in case of a shortage.

Across Noble hospital, for instance, authorities have requested relatives of patients to shortlist other hospitals for ICU beds. “We have decided to take consent forms from relatives of Covid patients to shortlist some other hospital for an ICU bed in case they turn critical,” Dr H K Sale, executive director of Noble hospital, said.

Dr Sale said there were 35 patients on ICU beds and another 230 on oxygen support at Noble hospital.

While the impact of curfew will be understood after April 30, doctors have said they would see more patients in the next two to three days. Those exposed are in the incubation period and, hence, there will be more numbers, authorities said.

With over 42,000 tests daily and more than 12,000 new infections being detected every day since Friday, hospitals are already overburdened.

Dr Avdut Bodamwad, medical superintendent at Ruby Hall Clinic, said they had 410 beds at their main branch and 50 ICU beds. Another 60 beds have been allocated at the Hinjewadi branch with 15 ICU beds and their branch at Wanowrie also has beds for Covid patients. “But now I have no space and an emergency care patient has to wait at least 24 hours to get inside the ICU. There are manpower limitations and we are all overburdened,” Dr Bodamwad said.

According to Dr Vijay Natarajan, CEO of Symbiosis Hospital, all 20 ICU beds at their facility are full and 10 are on ventilator support. “There are 200 beds in the ward and at least seven patients received 15 litres of oxygen each. They are waiting to be transferred to the ICU,” Dr Natarajan said.

At Jehangir hospital too where non-Covid work is limited to emergencies, there are 176 beds for Covid-19 patients, out of which over 30 are ICU beds. There is no vacancy and new admissions are being taken against discharge of recovered patients, authorities said.

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At KEM hospital, there are 200 beds and 18 are on critical support in the ICU. Patients were also turning critical in the ward and needed mechanical ventilation in that set-up, authorities said.

Some small pvt hospitals move patients to larger facilities

At least 70 small private hospitals with the Hospital Board of India, Pune chapter, have started functioning as Covid hospitals.

On Sunday, however, some on Nagar Road moved their patients to others as they did not have oxygen facility, said Dr Sanjay Patil, chairperson, Hospital Board of India, Pune chapter.

Another 30 hospitals were willing to turn into Covid hospitals, but were awaiting proper supply of oxygen, said Dr Balasaheb Deshmukh, chief of IMA Pune.

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