Severe shortage of ICU beds with ventilators under govt. quota in Bengaluru

A BBMP official said the demand for ventilator beds rose since last week as many patients under home isolation were turning up at hospitals after their symptoms aggravated.   | Photo Credit: TheHindu

For the last week, critical COVID-19 patients are finding it hard to get ICU beds with ventilators under government quota in Bengaluru.

Although the BBMP’s website on COVID-19 hospital bed status shows there is an availability of 34 ICU beds with ventilators in government hospitals, one in a government medical colleges, 156 in private hospitals, and five in private medical colleges in the city as on Sunday, BBMP nodal officers who facilitate bed allotment for needy patients through the central allotment system said they were unable to get ventilator beds blocked for patients under their jurisdiction since Saturday.

Besides, volunteers engaged in facilitating bed allotment under government quota through the BBMP said they were helpless as almost all hospitals they contacted directly said they did not have any ventilator beds. Ameen Muddasar, a volunteer from Emergency Response Team (ERT), a group that is working to help and guide patients get government quota beds, free ambulance and free medicine in the city, said his group could not get a single ventilator bed for patients since Saturday.

Site not updated

Mohammed Mohsin, one of the IAS officials in charge of facilitating admission of COVID-19 patients in private hospitals of Bengaluru Central, said the situation was grim as almost all the hospitals in his jurisdiction had zero availability of ventilator beds. When pointed out that the BBMP website showed availability, the official said that was because the hospitals had not updated the numbers on the website.

A senior BBMP official from South Zone said the demand for ventilator beds was on the rise since the last week as several patients who were under home isolation were turning up at hospitals after their symptoms aggravated. “Patients who would be asymptomatic when they test positive and opt for home isolation are not following proper medical advice and are turning critical. Several are reporting with aggravated symptoms and are now requiring ventilators,” he said.

Admitting that the website did not have updated numbers, the official said: “Most private hospitals are hoodwinking the BBMP. Although on paper they show bed allocation, when we actually call and check (which we do compulsorily before sending a critical patient), they say ventilators are occupied as other patients turned critical. And, that the numbers are yet to be updated.”

807 patients in ICU

K.V. Trilok Chandra, who heads the State’s Critical Care Support Unit (CCSU), said the number of patients being monitored in ICUs across the State has been constant over the last one week.

The ICU admissions that were below 700 till August 10, started increasing after that and hovered around 750 till August end. Subsequently, the numbers started increasing and as on Sunday 807 patients were being monitored in ICUs.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 3:40:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/severe-shortage-of-icu-beds-with-ventilators-under-govt-quota-in-bengaluru/article32595832.ece

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