Doctors at both medical colleges said five to 10 Covid patients in every ward are now on non-invasive ventilators but they are helpless due to paucity of ICU and ventilator beds. There are at least 12 wards having oxygenated, high dependency units and ICU beds in both GMCH and IGGMCH.
The three ventilator beds available only at GMCH too were taken within a couple of hours. This was probably the first time when none of the private Covid hospitals had a single ventilator as all the 271 remained occupied.
Though NMC data showed 3 ventitlators available, many citizens complained they were refused a ventilator bed at GMCH too.
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As per NMC data, the city has 441 ventilators including 170 in 10 public and trust-run hospitals. Top medical college officials and private hospitals said the city was in an urgent need of at least 200 ICU beds on a floating basis per day. “Unless such a provision is made critical patients would now have to be managed on O2 beds which will worsen the Covid situation,” said a top GMCH official.
IGGMCH officials said they are running 540 beds for Covid. “We would require 25 MD doctors to run 30 to 40 more ICU beds. The NMC had advertised these posts but no doctor has joined. IGGMCH too has advertised 30 senior and junior resident posts but they are not likely to apply,” they said.
The civil surgeon’s data indicates number of hospitalized patients have now surpassed the number of beds in the city. As per the CS press note, 5,096 are admitted against 4,919 beds. There is a difference of 177 patients who are likely to be on wait list or accommodated in casualty or other wards. The NMC vacancy data showed 199 beds but civic officials say it is dynamic figure which keeps changing frequently due to admissions and discharge.
Vidarbha Hospitals Association convener Dr Anup Marar said the situation in Nagpur is frightening. “There is an urgent need of ICU beds. This strain is too infectious. Patients, who have already taken oral anti-viral course, have deteriorated and are landing up in first instance – with CT scan score more than 15 – in the ICU,” he said.
Dr Marar said that the government being custodian of all citizen’s health is bound to the augment ICU bed availability to at least 200 looking into the swelling numbers of patients. “Case fatality will certainly increase. Non-invasive ventilation accessibility, expert hands, sustained oxygen and remdisivir supply should be ensured by government being a principally accountable facilitator,” he said.