Equipping Victoria Hospital for COVID-19 fight a challenge

Karnataka Bengaluru 16/02/2020 View of Victoria Hospital Trauma and Emergency Care Centre .
Photo: Sampath Kumar G P /The Hindu

Karnataka Bengaluru 16/02/2020 View of Victoria Hospital Trauma and Emergency Care Centre . Photo: Sampath Kumar G P /The Hindu   | Photo Credit: G_P_Sampath Kumar

‘It may not be possible to disturb Vani Vilas and Burns Ward’

The State government’s decision to convert Victoria Hospital complex into a dedicated COVID-19 facility is turning out to be a logistical challenge for the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI). All the hospitals located on Victoria Hospital premises are affiliated to BMCRI.

Victoria Hospital, which is a referral tertiary public healthcare facility, houses the Emergency and Trauma Care Centre, PMSSY Superspeciality Hospital, Institute of Nephro Urology, Minto Ophthalmic Hospital, and Vani Vilas Hospital. The 50-bed Mahabodhi Burns Ward, which is the only such facility in the State, is also located on this campus.

While the government intends to utilise all the beds (nearly 1,200) in these facilities for COVID patients, sources in the hospital said it may not be possible to disturb the functioning of Vani Vilas and Burns Ward as there is no alternative facility for poor patients. While nearly 250 deliveries, including high risk pregnancies, are attended to at Vani Vilas, the Burns Ward also has the State’s only skin bank.

That apart, the Institute of Nephro-Urology caters to renal immuno-compromised patients, who are most vulnerable and catch infections.

With nearly 150 patients availing free dialysis here, it will be difficult to relocate them to other hospitals immediately. “The functioning of this institute may also not be disturbed for the time being. However, if the need arises, we will have to shift them to other facilities,” said a senior official in the Medical Education Department.

Meanwhile, some BMCRI doctors are apprehensive that the decision may affect the in-patients badly.

“We have 117 in-patients and 31 critical cases in the ICU. Where do we shift them if our hospital is converted into a COVID-19 facility?” asked a senior doctor from Emergency and Trauma Care Centre.

All put together, the hospital has nearly 100 ventilators and around 80 anaesthetists and intensivists. “Will this be adequate to handle an influx of patients, if the hospital becomes a dedicated facility?” asked another doctor.

Sources also said the number of beds will be lesser than what the Chief Minister announced. “The beds will have to spaced adequately in COVID-19 wards. There will have to be a gap of six metres between each bed and this will reduce the actual bed capacity. It may take at least four-five days for all the logistical issues to be sorted out before COVID-19 admission begins here,” sources said.

However, P.G. Girish, Director of Medical Education, who is also the Special Officer in charge of PMSSY Hospital, said the load on these hospitals is being gradually reduced.

“We have stopped all planned surgeries and are only seeing emergency out patients, emergency admission and emergency Operation Theatre cases. The load will be reduced gradually and COVID-19 wards will be readied,” he said.

On the inadequate number of ventilators and specialists to handle the rush, if the need arises, he said specialists including anaesthetists and intensivists will be re-deployed from other hospitals to Victoria.

C.N. Manjunath, Director of Sri Jayadeva Institute of Chest Diseases, who is a member of the State COVID-19 taskforce, said the government was aware of the issues. “All cardiac patients will be shifted to Jayadeva Hospital and neuro and stroke patients will be shifted to NIMHANS. Logistical issues will be sorted out soon. The government will procure 1,000 ventilators. A dedicated facility under one roof will help,” he added.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 11:25:39 AM |

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