The Anaesthesiology Department of the Madras Medical College, to which the Government General Hospital is attached, has been upgraded as an Institute. The move will provide the department the much needed autonomy to conduct its academic work, according to its director in-charge C.R. Kanyakumari.

“Ours is the largest department in the State with 70 post-graduates, 22 assistant professors and five professors,” she says, adding that from this academic year, MMC will admit 18 students for the MD Anaesthesiology course. The Institute's nine-bed intensive care unit receives critical patients requiring round-the-clock intensive care, Dr. Kanyakumari says. Ninety nine per cent of anaesthetists are involved in emergency medical service, she adds.

“For the last eight months the ICU has been maintaining brain dead patients also. Since November, it has certified 34 patients as brain dead. But there have been rare cases when critically ill patients have recovered from extremely critical condition and sent back to the ward,” says Chief anaesthetist T. Venkatachalam.

According to MMC Dean J. Mohanasundaram, itis the third department to be accorded the status of an Institute this year after orthopaedics and traumatology; and diabetology departments. The Department of Surgical Gastroenterology was recently declared a Centre of Excellence.

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