Victoria Hospital emergency ward crowded due to non-COVID patient flow

Ambulances carrying patients waiting outside Victoria Hospital in Bengaluru on Saturday.  

The State-run Victoria Hospital, affiliated to Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI), which was a dedicated COVID-19 facility till June, now has a rush of patients seeking non-COVID services. The patient flow is heavy in the emergency and casualty triage areas, especially on holidays when many are referred from other hospitals to Victoria, resulting in a shortage of beds.

Following this, hospital authorities are now contemplating freeing up the Trauma and Emergency Care Centre (TECC) for non-COVID. “We have only 30 COVID patients in the TECC and they can be shifted to Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD) or Charaka super-speciality hospital (affiliated to Bowring and Lady Curzon Medical College Hospital) so that TECC can be completely utilised for non-COVID purposes,” said Ramesh Krishna K., Medical Superintendent of Victoria Hospital.

On Friday, there was chaos at the hospital following a rush of patients at the emergency and casualty triage areas. Nearly 80 patients turned up at the emergency in the evening as all out-patient departments close at 4 p.m. On account of Vijayadashami, which is a holiday, many patients were referred from district hospitals and the rains added to the problem.

Beds full

Members of Karnataka Rashtra Samithi (KRS) visited the hospital and captured the overcrowding at the emergency on Friday.

“All the ICU beds were full and many critical patients were forced to wait in the emergency triage area. While some patients were eagerly waiting to get medical attention inside the triage area, some others were waiting to get wheeled into the emergency room from ambulances. There was chaos and commotion and the duty doctors were helpless,” said Ravi Krishna Reddy, KRS president.

Raghu Janagere, KRS Youth Wing State president, said one woman from Kunigal, whose sister-in-law needed ICU care was forced to take the patient to Tumakuru district hospital where an ICU bed was available.

Dr. Krishna said the rush is mainly seen on holidays as many patients are referred from other hospitals. “As TECC is a COVID facility, we have set up a makeshift emergency and casualty triage in the annexe Master Plan Building (MPB). As this is a makeshift arrangement, there are only 15 beds for general medicine patients and eight each for surgery and orthopaedics. The rains added to the problem as many patients were not able to get out of the building after consultation. As the entry ramp does not have a roof, there was a slight delay in bringing the patients on stretchers from ambulances into the emergency room. We have a proposal to put a roof on the ramp now,” he said.

“As soon as we learnt about the commotion and rush in the emergency, I along with our Resident Medical Officer (RMO) and other doctors went there and personally monitored the situation,” he said.

He added as the 45-bed ICU at the MPB building was full, those who needed critical care were referred to Bowring and K.C. general hospitals.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 9:00:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/victoria-hospital-emergency-ward-crowded-due-to-non-covid-patient-flow/article37032301.ece

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