Government-run hospitals in the city are swamped with patients with high fever and other dengue-like symptoms amid fears of an outbreak of the vector-borne disease. Private hospitals,on the other hand,are packed to capacity and are refusing to admit any more patients with symptom of fever.
At Calcutta Medical College and Hospital,most of the patients in the acute ward (where various types of fevers are treated) have been diagnosed with dengue or are under observation with related symptoms. With only 48-odd beds at the ward,the current number of 100 patients has the doctors,nurses and medical students in a tizzy.
Last week,a fever clinic was started in the outdoor department. When a patient comes with these symptoms,the fever clinic sends them here. This time there are many suspected dengue cases. We are being forced to accommodate them on the floor, a resident postgraduate trainee,who was on duty at the ward located on the first floor of the medical college,said.
An unpleasant odour suffused the rooms and corridors clogged with patients and their relatives. But the promise of affordable treatment had drawn many patients here instead of the more sanitised private nursing homes.
One patient with dengue-like symptoms,Rekha Mallik,was lying in the corridor. She had high fever for five days. A couple of days back,external bleeding started. So we brought her here, Sunil,Rekhas husband,a resident of Jadavpur,said.
The second floor houses patients who are transferred after getting initial treatment in the acute ward. This section,which has 158 beds,has some dengue patients who are recovering.
Medical superintendent Dr Asim K. Ghosh could not specify the number of patients admitted with dengue and related symptoms. He said the fever clinic,which was started last Monday on a West Bengal government initiative,is helping the staff as well as the patients.
At SSKM Hospital,too,a fever clinic is operational at the Ronald Ross Malaria Clinic. We now have 23 patients admitted with dengue. However,their condition is not serious. This year,we treated 43 dengue patients. None of them had shock syndrome and neither was it required to admit them in the ICU, SSKM superintendent Tamal Kanti Ghosh said.
There is no reason to panic. If one has symptoms of dengue,immediate medical attention can cure it, the superintendent added.
Dengue patients at SSKM are being treated in various wards. One such patient,47-year-old Rupa Chakraborty,a resident of Sree Pally in the southern suburbs of the city,was released today from Woodburn Block. Her husband Goutam,a railway employee who brought sweets for the nurses,said,She was admitted here for the past 13 days. Now after treatment,she is finally fit.
Dealing with an avalanche of patients,private hospitals are refusing admissions.
The hospital is flooded with patients with fever. We have no more beds to accommodate people. We are refusing admission, said Dr Kar,medical superintendent of Mission of Mercy Hospital.
Columbia Asia Hospital authorities refused to share numbers. They said,however,that the hospital was filled to capacity. Patients are coming in but we have no option but to refuse them, said Arindam Banerjee,general manager,Columbia Asia.
In some cases,patients come with recommendations from ministers. People do not understand that it is impossible to accommodate them if there is no bed available. If they come with a ministers recommendation letter,we have to admit them on an emergency bed, said Sarbani Saha,chief communication coordinator,Medical Super Speciality Hospital. She added that around 30 patients were being treated for dengue.
Tapas Mukherjee,administration head of Desun,said the hospital did not have any free bed. Of the 361 blood samples collected there,89 were MS-1 positive and 17 were tested positive with IgM (confirming dengue). It is good to see that awareness has risen,but the way people are flocking to hospitals,the awareness seems more like panic, he said.
Apollo Hospitals has increased its capacity to 520 beds. The hospital is full. Of 241 samples,84 have proved positive,including IgM,MS-1 and IgG cases. Around 48-50 patients are still admitted with fever, said Dr Rupali Basu,chief executive officer,Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals.