Visakhapatnam

Shortage of specialists, inadequate oxygen supply ‘plague’ VIMS

Judicious use of the available manpower and infrastructure, increasing the number of doctors with specialisation in General Medicine and utilising the services of PG students and junior doctors may result in improvement in services at the Visakha Institute of Medical Sciences (VIMS), according to sources in the hospital.

The number of doctors at VIMS, which was a mere 25 till recently, was increased to about 100, following pressure from various quarters. However, the number of specialists with General Medicine, required to treat COVID-19 patients, is still in a single digit. The oxygen distribution system of the hospital can support only 300 beds but there are over 400 patients, requiring oxygen support, at any given point of time, says a reliable source on condition of anonymity.

The triage area of the VIMS should have at least one General Medicine specialist, to decide whether a COVID-19 patient requires an oxygen bed or otherwise. Similarly, after admission and treatment for some days, based on the condition of the patient, the specialist should decide whether the patient could be shifted to a general bed, so that the oxygen bed could be given to another needy patient.

The King George Hospital (KGH) has six units of medicine and over 50 doctors with specialisation in General Medicine, at least some of them can be deputed to the VIMS. While some of them are rendering their services at the COVID block (CSR Block) in KGH, the remaining specialists, manning non-essential services, can be deputed here in view of the emergency situation, the source says.

Reduced pressure

Though the oxygen storage capacity of the VIMS is quite high, the distribution pipeline is long, and patients at the far end of the pipeline are not getting adequate oxygen, which is indicated by the low reading on the wall monitor and the beep sound. This could be due to reduced pressure and it was brought to the notice of the officials concerned. An engineering official, who was deputed to the VIMS to look into the problem, claimed that the pressure was sufficient, without delving deep into the problem, according to the source.

Admission delays

On Friday evening, patients werereportedly made to wait for over an hour at the VIMS gate, though the CM dashboard was showing that 30 beds were vacant. A case sheet has to be generated through the CM dashboard at the reception for every patient. As the data entry operators are afraid of working in the triage area, the generated case sheets are sent through attendants resulting in delays, the source says.


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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 9:04:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/shortage-of-specialists-inadequate-oxygen-supply-plague-vims/article34537844.ece

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