Authorities swing into action to augment capacity in five hospitals
Almost all Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds in the five government hospitals in Chennai are filled, while oxygen supported beds are running low, pushing hospital authorities to set up additional facilities.
As per the data on bed status available on https://tncovidbeds. tnega.org/, only eight oxygen-supported beds out of 1,766 and one ICU bed out of 919 were available in the five government hospitals in the city.
Hospital authorities said that work was under way to increase the number of beds and oxygen points to meet the rising demand. “We are bringing in 550 additional oxygen lines on floors 6, 7 and 8 of Tower 3 at RGGGH. Of this, 70 have been put to use,” E. Theranirajan, dean of RGGGH, said. From 810 oxygen points earlier, the hospital has increased it to 1,100 points, he added.
At the zero delay ward, the hospital has added 20 more oxygen points to de-congest ambulances bringing in patients. “We want to reduce the waiting time for patients. A 10-member doctor team has been posted at the outpatient department. Two of them will enter ambulances and triage to prioritise patients,” he added.
The hospital has formed a respiratory care team to assess the oxygen utilisation. “They will look at ways to conserve oxygen, and audit the requirement for patients on every floor,” he added. Women patients, who have recovered from COVID-19 and are in step-down wards, were shifted to the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Egmore.
At the Government Stanley Medical College Hospital, 500 more oxygen-supported beds are being set up at the Super Speciality Block, dean P. Balaji, said. “Plans are afoot to add 100 more beds in the ICU, while the Directorate of Medical Education has planned to provide 100 ventilators from other districts,” he said.
The hospital has added 50 more beds with oxygen points to the 20-bed zero delay ward.
At the New Tower Block, where the Tamil Nadu Accident and Emergency Care Initiative unit and IMCU functions on the ground and first floors, floors 2 to 6 have been converted into wards for COVID-19 patients, who have tested negative for the infection but are dependent on oxygen.
“We are trying to create more beds internally for positive patients and those with suspected symptoms of COVID-19,” he added.
A number of internal arrangements were made to cope with the increasing flow of COVID-19 patients. “We have shifted all our super speciality patients to the Tamil Nadu Government Multi Super Speciality Hospital, Omandurar Estate, based on a direction from the government. While our medical specialists are involved in active treatment of COVID-19 patients, surgical specialists are handling administrative jobs, non-COVID OP and emergencies,” he added.
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