Shortage of ventilators in hosps; new cases add pressure on infra

Amid the rise in Covid-19 positive cases, the number of available ICU ( intensive care unit) allocated beds equipped with ventilators for the virus patients have also reduced to 432 in the city as of November 27, with zero vacancies in major hospitals.

Patients who test positive for the Sars-Cov-2 virus which causes the Covid-19 infection take a longer time to recover if they end up on ventilators, observed doctors. So, with more cases coming up there has been a rise in critical cases too which is adding burden on the existing infrastructure which has also opened up for non-Covid19 patients.

According to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) dashboard, major hospitals do not show any vacant ventilators, including Bharati hospital, Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital, Ruby Hall Clinic, Noble hospital and Sahyadri Hospital. (see graphic)

Pune city has overall 184 vacant ventilators of the 432 allocated ventilators for Covid-19 patients in 83 hospitals.

As of Friday (November 27), PMC reported a total of 413 critical patients in the city of which 249 were on ventilators while 164 were on ICU beds without ventilators. Also, more than 1,000 Covid-19 patients were under oxygen therapy for treatment.

Dr Bharat Purandare, expert, infectious department, Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital, said, “All our ICU ventilators are full as of now. Post-Diwali we did see a surge in cases which means there is a proportionate rise in the number of critical patients too. In fact, we also have a few patients who were admitted earlier who are still critical and so we have to find additional support for newer critical patients.”

“It is difficult for critical patients suffering from Covid-19 to recover from the same as it takes longer for them to recover. Such patients who undergo treatment in ICU are treated there for at least 15 days, that is my observation at our hospitals and so the number of critical patients will rise in proportion to newer cases and so ventilators remain occupied for a longer time,” he said.

Dr Ashish Bharati, PMC health chief, said, “We can’t say now that whether we will face any shortage in future. However, as of now, we have enough ventilators available. Also, we have seen that private hospitals do not update the dashboard. Ideally, they should update it at least once every day.”

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