More patients in ICUs, but coronavirus not to blame

Gandhi Hospital has a total of 619 ICU beds.

Gandhi Hospital has a total of 619 ICU beds.

There is a silver lining to the gradual increase in the number of COVID patients landing up in hospital intensive care units (ICUs). Of the 125 COVID patients in Gandhi Hospital ICU, none were admitted because of severity of symptoms.

Hospital superintendent M. Raja Rao, who went through case sheets of the 125 patients, said they are suffering from other health ailments.

Prior to detection of the infection and admission at the government hospital, the patients were admitted to ICU of other healthcare facilities, including corporate hospitals, with other serious ailments related to heart, brain, liver, etc. They were on oxygen or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) support. “The patients were shifted from other hospital ICUs to our ICUs after testing positive there. None of the 125 patients, however, have severe COVID,” said Dr Raja Rao.

With 619 ICU beds, the government hospital is perhaps the only health facility in the country with such numbers. It served as an exclusive centre for COVID-19 treatment during the first and second waves of the pandemic.

Anticipating a rise in COVID admissions, more beds in other wards are being earmarked for patients. Dr Raja Rao said it is being done only as a precautionary measure.

Other doctors said COVID patients on oxygen support and with co-morbidities are admitted to Gandhi Hospital. Currently, patients with the infection who need only oxygen support are sent to the Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS) or other health facilities.

While COVID cases surge, doctors say hospital admissions solely due to COVID severity are few.

Their hope is that the hospitalisation rate will continue to remain low.

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Printable version | May 24, 2022 11:53:21 pm |