Tamil Nadu

Three COVID-19 patients die waiting in ambulances at Salem GH

Patients in ambulance waiting outside the triage zone at Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College Hospital in Salem. Photograph used for representational purposes only   | Photo Credit: LAKSHMI NARAYANAN E

Three COVID-19 patients, who were waiting at the triage zone of the Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College Hospital, died late Tuesday evening, according to sources.

The patients, who were waiting in ambulances at the COVID-19 triage zone of the hospital, collapsed before they could be shifted to the COVID-19 block here. According to doctors, the patients included a 30-year-old woman and two men aged above 40 years.

The hospital has said it will set up a separate triage centre in a couple of days for patients brought in by ambulances to the hospital for COVID-19 treatment.

The Salem GH is the tertiary care centre for COVID-19 treatment in the district and besides patients from its vicinity, patients from far ends of the district including Thalaivasal and Attur travel here for triaging after testing positive for COVID-19. The hospital is also receiving patients referred from private hospitals in critical condition. “The COVID-19 block is operating at full capacity and patients are being referred to the hospital from private hospitals without first confirming bed availability here,” Dean R. Murugeshan had said.

According to doctors, patients are brought to the hospital in critical condition and though they are attended to in ambulances, they can be shifted to the block only once a bed becomes available.

The Salem GH is now working on increasing its bed strength with oxygen facilities to take in more patients. It has designated 800 beds for COVID-19 treatment with oxygen supply through pipe or cylinders and is operating at full capacity, Dr. Murugeshan said.

According to doctors, the triage zone handles at least 500 cases a day and patients, based on their health condition, are advised admissions at hospitals, COVID-19 care centres, or home isolation. On a day, 50-100 patients are being admitted to the hospital, and only moderate to severe and severe cases are being admitted. The doctors are trying to take in as many patients as possible and oxygen supply is being managed to help them.

Dr. Murugeshan said that a separate triage zone is now being arranged for checking patients brought in ambulances alone to avoid any delays in treatment. Based on the health condition, they would be immediately referred to respective health centres or to the GH, he said.

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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 9:02:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/three-covid-19-patients-die-waiting-in-ambulances-at-salem-gh/article34496041.ece

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