Government Hospitals run out of beds for COVID-19 patients

Beds are full for COVID-19 patients at Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai.  


Almost all Intensive Care Units (ICU) and oxygen-supported beds in Government Hospitals in the district are filled, pushing new patients to wait for their admission.

According to the details provided by the public health department, only six out of the 345 ICU beds were vacant in the Government Hospitals at 8 p.m. on Monday.

A senior doctor from the Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) said almost all the 1,200 beds allocated for COVID-19 patients were occupied. There was not much difference between the ICU and general wards, as many beds in the general wards too have oxygen support.

“Ideally, the hospital has the capacity to have 900 COVID-19 beds. But, it has been extended to 1,200. Hence, the beds are cramped inside the wards,” said the doctor.

Unlike last year, most of the patients had severe infections, increasing the need for oxygen support. “Each patient who requires oxygen support needs around 10 to 12 days of hospital admission. So, even after death and discharges are recorded in the hospital every day, there is a limited number of extra beds available to accommodate new patients,” added the doctor.

Another source from the GRH said earlier triaging would be done to decide the level of care that was required for COVID-19 patients. “But, nowadays every patient coming to the GRH requires oxygen support. So, to be on the safer side, we are advising people to come to the GRH in an ambulance with oxygen support,” she said.

Private hospitals were also referring patients in critical conditions to government hospitals, said S. Gandhimathinathan, Resident Medical Officer of Government Hospital for Thoracic Medicine at Thoppur.

Doctors of the GRH say despite the lack of beds, the hospital was trying to admit new patients by sharing the resources among the patients.

K. Senthil, treatment coordinator for COVID-19 speciality wing of the GRH, said: “There is a need to deploy additional 300 nurses and more number of hospital workers for the GRH,” he said. The hospital authorities are hopeful that the oxygen generated at Thoothukudi Sterlite plant would be sufficient to meet the demand of private and government hospitals in southern districts, he added.

Collector T. Anbalagan, along with GRH Dean J. Sangumani, inspected the COVID-19 speciality wing of the GRH to check the arrangements made to increase bed strength.

Mr. Anbalagan told The Hindu that at least 200 non-oxygen beds would be arranged in the basement of the COVID-19 speciality wing within the next few days.

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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 2:48:06 AM |

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