Health infrastructure under stress, patients struggle to find ICU beds

Health infrastructure under stress, patients struggle to find ICU beds

New Delhi: Patients in Delhi are finding it hard to find an ICU bed, as the majority has already been occupied. Hospitals are struggling with the increasing number of covid patients that have left many in a vulnerable position.

Sanjay, a resident of Delhi was in one such position, when on Monday night his condition deteriorated as he had all the covid symptoms. The patient had breathing issues, with fever and cough; he was unable to walk as well. The family pleaded for help after which calls were made to major private hospitals in the national Capital.

"His sugar had reached worrying levels, which is why the family panicked even more. The whole evening we were trying to find the hospital," his brother said.

Doctors at hospitals have said that they are turning away patients due to unavailability of ICU beds. "We have received about 80-90 patients in the past one week, majority of whom are severe / moderate -to -severe / mild -to -moderate cases. We are handling home management of about 40 percentage cases but have to turn away 4-5 COVID patients daily who need admission. We are getting problems in managing beds for non-COVID patients as well, as sometimes they also don't get beds as well, due to its non-availability," Dr Col Vijay Dutta senior internal and respiratory medicine Indian spinal injuries centre said.

According to the Delhi Corona application, only 138 ICU beds with ventilators are vacant in the city and a little over 10 per cent of regular ICU beds remain vacant.

With Centre and State working on increasing the bed capacity, patients meanwhile, are dealing with a nightmarish situation. Meanwhile, doctors have agreed that ICU beds are fast filling, which is creating a panic like situation.

On inquiring about the situation, Dr Kousar A Shah, COO, Aakash Healthcare Group said, "There has been a sudden spike in the COVID cases and we are no exception to face this as a healthcare organisation. We are observing the same ramp up in COVID cases coming to our hospital from the beginning of this month itself. However, we have been keeping a very close watch and constantly analysing the situation and making amends in upgrading the facilities for COVID patients so that we don't have to make a patient, who needs a bed for clinical care in a hospital set up, run around to find

a bed."

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