Too many patients for a few hospital beds27 July 2021
Faced with a severe shortage of ICU and general beds the government hospitals in capital Dhaka are struggling to cope with a steady stream of Covid-19 patients, many of them coming from outside the city in critical condition.
The rush has filled the Intensive Care Units (ICUs) to the brim and forced the authorities to admit patients more than their capacity. And yet many have been kept in the waiting list for a bed, while others have simply been asked to hunt beds in other hospitals. That includes even the critical patients who need intensive care.
According to the Health Department, there are 16 government hospitals in the capital dedicated to Covid patients. Three of these hospitals don't have any ICU. Seven of the remaining 13 hospitals had no ICU bed empty as of Saturday.
In the remaining six hospitals, only 40 ICU beds were available as of Saturday, said the authorities adding things are changing by hours.
The pressure has mounted on the Dhaka hospitals as patients are arriving from other adjoining district hospitals for shortage of ICU facilities there. The few ICU beds are already full.
ICU beds are not easily available in the districts. An average of 25 patients need ICU in the hospitals designated for coronavirus in the capital.
As per the Health Department, this increasing number of Covid patients has led hospitals to provide treatment to the patients against the limited number of beds.
Brig. Gen. Nazmul Haque, director of Dhaka Medical College Hospital, told UNB that there is no scope for the ICUs to remain vacant as the beds available are fewer than the demand. Every day 60 to 70 new Covid patients are being admitted. Some patients have to be admitted even without a bed. Some critical patients have to be transferred to Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery.
Dhaka Medical College Hospital has 705 general beds for Covid-19 patients. Currently, 724 Covid patients are undergoing treatment there. In other words, an extra 19 patients are admitted against the bed capacity. None of the 10 ICU beds are vacant for patients.
Among the government hospitals in the capital, Covid-dedicated Kurmitula General Hospital is providing treatment to about 50 additional patients against 265 beds.
The other government hospitals present a similar picture.
Dr Habibur Rahman, director of Syed Nazrul Islam Medical College and Hospital in Kishoreganj, said, "We have 200 beds here. The hospital is crowded with patients as more and more patients are coming for treatment. There are 10 ICUs and all are occupied with patients."
In Chattogram Division, Chattogram Medical College Hospital are providing treatment to an extra 20 patients against 206 beds, Private Maternal and Child Hospital to 15 patients additional patients against 109 beds and Al Manahil Nurture General Hospital to an extra five patients against 43 beds.
Cumilla Medical College Hospital has an extra 15 patients against 106 beds.
In Khulna Division, 20 additional patients are undergoing treatment against 121 beds in Jashore General Hospital, 20 extra patients against 50 beds in Magura Sadar Hospital and 100 additional patients against 190 beds in Kushtia General Hospital.
In Rajshahi Division, Mohammad Ali Hospital in Bogura in providing treatment to 40 extra patients against 242 beds, Rajshahi Medical College Hospital to 40 extra patients against 434 beds and Natore Adhunik Sadar Hospital to 20 extra patients against 70 beds.
In Mymensingh Division, 10 extra patients are admitted against 210 beds in Mymensingh Medical College Hospital.
Extra five Covid patients are undergoing treatment against 84 beds at Sylhet Shaheed Shamsuddin Ahmed Hospital in Sylhet Division.
In Barisha Division, extra 15 patients are being treated against 50 beds in Barguna sadar Hospital.
In this regard, Director General of the Health Department Abul Bashar Khurshid Alam told UNB that there are preparations for tackling the increased number of Covid patients.
He said recommendations have been made to set up field hospitals in different districts for patients outside Dhaka and also to increase the number of beds.
The DG also said, "In the current situation, we have not seen any results of the 14-day lockdown as yet. Generally, the results are usually seen after 3-4 days of a lockdown."
"We are trying our best to understand the condition of the patient and take necessary medical measures. Arrangements are being made to bring oxygen from India. At present our country has a demand of 200 tonnes of Oxygen daily," he said.