June 23, 2021 2:16:29 am
KARNATAKA WILL need between 6,801 and 13,602 paediatric ICU beds, depending on the severity of a possible third wave of Covid-19 infections among children in the state, and cities such as Bengaluru will need a 360 per cent increase in paediatric ICU beds in government hospitals, according to an expert group set up by the state government.
The High Level Expert Committee for Prevention and Management of Covid Wave-3, headed by eminent cardiac surgeon Dr Devi Shetty and comprising 15 other doctors, presented a 92-page interim report to Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Tuesday.
“The committee strongly recommends clear segregation of adult and paediatric care. This pandemic is far from over. I am hopeful that this interim report would be useful for the government in accelerating preparations and strengthening the health system for the future challenges,” Dr Shetty stated in the report.
Considering a conservative estimate of 2-4 per cent of the children infected by the Covid virus being severely or critically affected, the state would need around 6,801 ICU/HDU beds for children, and in a worst case scenario of 4-8 per cent of children being badly affected, 13,602 ICU beds will be needed, the report has projected.
It has recommended setting up of exclusive 250-bed hospitals for children with 20 bed paediatric and neonatal ICU beds on the campuses of district hospitals or medical colleges in backward districts.
In Bengaluru, 17 government hospitals for children and Covid treatment will have to increase their PICU capacity by over 360 per cent from 60 beds to 280 beds to prepare for a severe outbreak among children in the third wave of infections, the expert committee has indicated.
“Among the total Covid-19 infections, children aged between 0-18 years constituted around 8 to 10% during the 1st and 2nd wave. Most national and international data indicates that a maximum of 5-7 % of the children required hospitalisation,” says the report. The hospital care system for patients in the third wave must be backed up by a strong “community-based home care” system, the report stated.
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