COVID-19 patients throng Tirunelveli hospital

With the COVID-19 positive patients being diverted to Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital (TVMCH) from all southern districts, the district administration and the doctors, postgraduate medical students and the nurses are under extreme pressure to find them beds and getting oxygen for most of these extremely critical patients to save them.

As the number of positive patients getting reported in this region crosses 2,000 everyday, there is a need to create more beds in hospitals, particularly in government medical college hospitals. The first choice of most of the patients is the government medical college hospitals where they can avail free but quality treatment even as the private hospitals are charging in lakhs for treatment.

New patients arrive at TVMCH everyday from the nearby districts even though they have their own medical college hospitals. The patients, on reaching the ‘triaging point’ at Gandhimathi School near Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital, are being screened to assess their health condition. If they are asymptomatic, they are sent for ‘home quarantine’ and those who have mild symptoms are taken to the COVID Care Centres while the severely affected patients get admitted in the TVMCH.

A senior doctor attached to the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital said all the 940 beds with oxygen facility are occupied by the COVID-19 patients, mostly from nearby districts and from places like Dindigul. Even though the officials of the nearby districts have been requested to treat the COVID-19 positive patients in their districts, more patients are being diverted to the TVMCH over the past two weeks which has badly affected the morale and efficacy of the doctors, postgraduate students and the nurses.

“We can understand the gravity of the situation. All the beds in these nearby districts might have been occupied by the COVID-19 patients as in TVMCH. Either death or discharge of a patient alone enables us to admit a new patient in TVMCH as of now. So, a good number of patients is waiting in queue all the time for admission, forcing the relatives to seek help from influential persons to find a bed for their loved ones at the earliest. We’re getting phone calls from all quarters and round the clock in this connection even as there is no bed to provide to the new patients. We’re completely exhausted as we are working under extreme pressure,” said the doctor.

Since most of the patients getting admitted in the TVMCH are in need of oxygen, the TVMCH has to make sure that its two storage tanks (13 KL and 6 KL) are full all the time to save the patients. Unfortunately, the suppliers let down the TVMCH at times to trigger panic. A couple of days ago, the situation was so alarming as the oxygen level in the tanks dipped very fast forcing the district administration to send SOS to every possible sources to get oxygen at the earliest.

Only after a tanker from ISRO’s Propulsion Research Complex at Mahendragiri reached the TVMCH, normalcy returned.

“We received an oxygen tanker from Thanjavur on May 11 but this is a temporary relief as a few hundred patients are coming to the ‘triaging point’ and the TVMCH receives a sizeable number even as the hospital is virtually overflowing. The district administration, with the available oxygen, is managing the situation in the best possible manner. If the new patients from the southern districts are admitted in their respective districts, it will ensure the best possible treatment to the patients admitted here as the burden will be less,” the doctor said.

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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 7:00:21 PM |

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