All beds occupied, say private hospitals in Ernakulam

A view of Kadavanthra in the city during the weekend lockdown on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

Several private hospitals in the district are reporting that the beds they have allocated for COVID-19 patients are all occupied, including beds with oxygen supply, ICUs and ventilators.

While Aster Medcity would not specify the number of beds set aside for COVID-19 patients, a hospital spokesperson said that all beds allocated for COVID treatment were full, including ICU facilities. The hospital had set aside more than the required 20% of its total number of beds, added the spokesperson.

A spokesperson for Lakeshore Hospital also confirmed that all beds for COVID patients were occupied. Around 23 COVID patients are admitted at the facility, with nine ICU beds that are all occupied. The number of ICU beds were ramped up from three to six over the past week since the number of critically ill patients arriving at the hospital was on the rise, the spokesperson said.

Dr. T.V. Ravi, medical director at Ernakulam Medical Centre, president of the IMA Cochin chapter, said that private hospitals were running short of beds, particularly ICU beds and ventilators. “We are getting calls every other hour for ICU beds. Ventilators are all occupied. Even younger people are going into respiratory distress and they worsen quickly,” he said. Acute staff shortage, particularly of nurses, was another issue at private hospitals, he added. “Non-COVID patients are not too many now. At EMC, all 30 rooms set aside for COVID patients are full, besides five ICUs,” he said.

Of the 39 beds and 10 ICU beds set aside for COVID patients at Rajagiri Hospital, all are occupied, it is learnt.

A total of 160 ICU beds set aside at private hospitals for COVID patients in the district were all occupied, said Dr. Junaid Rahman, medical director at Sree Sudheendra Medical Mission and a member of the district programme management and supporting unit. Around 250 beds with oxygen supply were set aside for COVID patients at private hospitals, he added.

One private hospital mentioned above said they were considering setting up a first-line treatment centre to handle the patient load. Two COVID patients who arrived at one private hospital in ambulances had to be turned away, and there were requests for ventilator support for patients, though all ventilators are full. Another private hospital also had to turn away some COVID patients who had sought care and had to divert them to other facilities, spokespersons at those facilities said.

As many as 225 people out of the district’s active caseload are admitted in ICUs as per figures from the District Surveillance Unit.

Government facilities

Going by a release from the district administration, a total of 1,146 out of 2,084 beds are available at government facilities. A majority of these vacant beds (851) are at domiciliary care centres. A total of 90 out of 417 beds at second-line treatment centres are occupied. SLTCs are equipped with oxygen beds. At COVID treatment centres at nine government hospitals, 205 beds are available. The District Information Office said the number of vacant ICU beds in the district was a statistic that was not available.

District Medical Officer N.K. Kuttappan said that the number of vacant ICU beds in the district would be available only on Sunday evening after the day’s discharge was complete. He added that COVID patients were being offered care at private hospitals, and that they would comply with the directions issued to set aside 20% of their beds. A meeting with the managements of private hospitals will be held on Sunday.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 4:56:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/all-beds-occupied-say-private-hospitals-in-ernakulam/article34404686.ece

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