‘Sleep Lab’ project proposed at King George Hospital makes little headway

Tenders yet to be finalised even after two-and-a-half years as bidders shy away

October 12, 2019 01:08 am | Updated 09:18 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

A view of King George Hospital.

A view of King George Hospital.

The ‘Sleep Lab’ project proposed at the King George Hospital (KGH) nearly two-and-a-half years ago is yet to make any progress thus far. The tenders have not finalised yet as the Andhra Pradesh Health and Medical Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (APHMHIDC) has found a single bidder for the supply of equipment.

The state-of-the-art level-1 ‘Sleep Lab’ was the first of its kind proposed to be set up in Andhra Pradesh, after the bifurcation and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Director of Medical Education (DME) and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, in 2017 in this regard.

Delayed payment

It’s learnt that the bidders were not keen on participating in the tender process as the payment to the suppliers were being delayed.

The existing lab at the Neurology Department of the KGH, where the ‘Sleep Lab’ is proposed to be set up, has been modified to make way for the installation of new equipment. The room was made soundproof with local funds.

There are quite a few level-2 and level-3 labs at government and private hospitals. These machines can only analyse certain basic sleep disorders. The equipment for the level-1 lab was proposed to be procured at a cost of ₹35 lakh.

“In 2016, Andhra Medical College (AMC) was given a 64-channel EEG machine for studies on seizures. The existing lab in our department has some equipment such as Video EEG and NCV for the study of nervous system and muscles,” says Dr. G. Butchi Raju, Head of the Neurology Department.

Technicians needed

He says that video polysomnography equipment is needed for sleep studies. A ‘Sleep Lab’ is also essential for getting recognition of the MCI for the DM (neurology) course.

“We have a single technician from the cath lab who was deputed to our lab. We need a few qualified technicians who have done B. Sc electro-physiology course for optimum utilisation of the equipment,” Dr. Butchi Raju explains.

Lifestyle changes

“About one-third of the population suffer from some sleep disorder or the other. This can be attributed to lifestyle changes, circadian rhythm disorders due to working overnight. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is also a major risk for heart disease. Insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness are becoming common,” he adds.

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