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Monday, September 21, 2020

Two more ICUs to start at YCMH today, PCMC to focus on ‘saving lives, improving patient care’

"Every life is important and must be saved. I visited YCM hospital on Saturday and took a round of the wards. I interacted with patients, nurses, ward boys, and doctors," said Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar on Monday.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune | August 11, 2020 12:07:48 am
Practice yoga, eat chyawanprash: Health Ministry issues new protocol for recovered Covid-19 patientsAmidst a surge in coronavirus cases across the country, the Union Health Ministry Sunday issued a new ‘Post Covid-19 Management Protocol’ for patients who have recovered from the deadly infection. (Express file photo by Amit Mehra)

With the central government issuing directions to state governments to reduce the death rate of Covid-19 patients, the PCMC, already facing criticism for rising number of deaths at civic-run YCM hospital, said it was making an effort to save lives and was in the process of improving patient care along with other protocols, and would start two more intensive care units (ICU) from Tuesday. The civic administration said it had achieved a recovery rate of close to 70 per cent.

“Every life is important and must be saved. I visited YCM hospital on Saturday and took a round of the wards. I interacted with patients, nurses, ward boys, and doctors,” said Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar on Monday.

Hardikar said there was a need to improve the system to reduce the number of deaths. “We have to improve patient care along with better protocols. We are already on the job. We are starting two more ICUs of 15 beds each at YCM hospital and have recruited 36 more resident doctors. With this, there will be five ICUs at YCMH,” he said.

The civic chief said they had shortage of nurses for some time, with some them testing positive for the novel coronavirus. “We have recruited new nurses as well. Besides, we are new doctors are being trained with a focus on saving as many lives as possible,” he said.

While Hardikar went around YCM hospital on Saturday, before that, a team of officials from the collectorate had also visited the hospital.

The Indian Express had highlighted the state of affairs at the hospital, which is brimming over with patients. A patient, more often than not, is denied admission and is asked to search for a bed in other hospitals. Despite the collectorate’s directives, the hospital has no system in place to guide patients and their kin. The hospital administration has attributed this to staff shortage.

Hardikar also said, “To reduce the number of deaths, most importantly, we must detect positive cases early. We can fight Covid-19 with some or the other drug of choice, but when a patient comes in with oxygen saturation level below 70 per cent, chances of survival are few.”

On detecting cases of infection early, he said, “We are now taking on board volunteers to detect cases early. Patients isolated at home are undergoing blood tests and X-Ray as a precaution.”

The PCMC chief also said timely supply of oxygen was the “biggest lifesaver”. “We have added additional oxygen beds and are adding plenty more. After jumbo facilities come up, we will have more than 1,000 oxygen and ventilator beds that will help address the problem of shortage of oxygen beds,” he said.

On the stigma attached to patients suffering from Covid-19, Hardikar said, “We also must continue our effort to raise awareness among people to remove the stigma attached with Covid-19. There are a lot of rumours doing the rounds that Covid-19 is a hoax. We are taking action against such people.”

Acknowledging that a large number of Covid deaths had taken place in recent days, Hardikar said, “We have lost many people and, that too in large numbers, last month. We must understand the threat is real.”

Additional Municipal Commissioner Santosh Patil said 485 patients had died in Pimpri-Chinchwad since March. “However, our recovery rate is on the higher side at 69.44 per cent. Of the total number of reported cases at 29,157, 20,264 have recovered,” he said.

Patil said the mortality rate in Pimpri-Chinchwad was 1.66 per cent. “This is much lower than the national and state averages,” he added.

Echoing Hardikar’s views, Patil also said patients did not seek early treatment. “We are trying our best to reach out to people but given the vast density of population, it is not possible. Also, we are hit by staff shortage,” he said.

Prof Pravin Soni, head, Department of Medicine, YCM hospital, said, “Doctors at YCMH are making the best effort to reduce the number of deaths. We are strictly following all government protocols for patient care. We have had high recovery as well. It is also true that we have high number of Covid deaths. This is primarily due to co-morbidities and delayed treatment. We are hampered by the fact that most patients are brought in at an extremely critical stage. Also, some patients have severe co-morbidities…”

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