Doctors worried as Covid wards in major Bengaluru hospitals are almost full | Bengaluru News – Times of India
According to a BBMP officer, all hospitals must have 10% beds for +ve patients in next one week.
BENGALURU: With Covid-19 cases steadily increasing in Bengaluru, a majority of the hospitals treating the infections said most of their beds are occupied and doctors fear demand for ICU beds could throw up infrastructure and human resources challenges in the coming days.
Covid wards in major hospitals in the city are nearly full, despite 80% of the cases in the second wave are asymptomatic and require only home isolation. In a 1,000-bed hospital, 10% of the beds are for intensive care. In Covid care for severe patients, at least 40-50% beds should be in ICUs, doctors said.
At a recent meeting with prominent hospitals and medical colleges, the state health and family welfare department asked hospitals to reserve 10% of their total beds for Covid cases. Currently, government hospitals are largely used for severe Covid patients. Unlike last year, private hospital beds for Covid will be used in a staggered manner.
In a week, all hospitals must have 10% beds for Covid patients: BBMP
In the next one week, all hospitals must have 10% of beds for Covid patients. As the situation demands, the percentage of beds will be increased,” said a BBMP officer.
At Trauma and Emergency Care Centre on Victoria Hospital campus attached to Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, 150 of the 162 Covid beds are occupied, said Dr Smitha Segu, nodal officer. The medical college is working on setting up a 130-bed Covid facility at ‘C’ block of Victoria Hospital.
Dr Segu said, “Not all cases are with severe symptoms. Some are senior citizens with comorbidities. In some cases, we have clusters in families seeking admission. Younger f amily members with milder symptoms are getting admitted only to be with their infected elders.” If cases increase, the hospital will have to discharge the asymptomatic youngsters, she added.
Hospitals simultaneously catering to Covid and non-Covid care said providing enough human resources is a daunting task. At MS Ramaiah Medical College Hospital’s Covid facility, 89 of the 100 beds are full. This includes 15 patients in ICU. “Around this time last year, we had not more than 100-150 non-Covid patients in our hospital and we were able to admit more Covid patients. Now, our regular ICUs are full. Managing both Covid and non-Covid care is tough,” said Dr Harish K, associate dean of the college.
He said Covid care needs more manpower, and it’s 2.5 times more in ICUs than in regular cases. “We will be able to manage 100 Covid patients and add 100 beds. Bigger issue is providing more ICU beds,” he added.
Dr Sanjiv Lewin, chief of medical services of St John’s Medical College Hospital, said patients with severe symptoms are coming to the emergency wing and turning out to be Covid positive. “We’ve vacant beds in neonatal ICU and dialysis wards. But they can’t be spared. In our 1,350-bed hospital, more than 580 beds are for specialities. We can’t send away non-Covid sick patients. It’s a tough time,” said Dr Lewin.
At Apollo Hospitals, Bannerghatta Road, there are 42 Covid patients and the hospital is working on increasing the bed strength. “Unlike last year, neighbouring nursing homes are now admitting Covid patients. Last year, most hospitals were choked with patients who didn’t require admission. About 10-15% of the total patients would require hospitalisation,” said Dr Ravindra Mehta, chief of pulmonary, critical care and interventional pulmonology, Apollo Hospitals.
The Covid load borne by second and third-level hospitals will decide the load in bigger centres, he said.
At four centres of Manipal Hospitals in the city, 20% of beds are kept for Covid cases.
“Seven of the 46 Covid patients are on ventilator. We’re struggling to provide beds for Covid patients as beds are occupied by other patients. Treatment for non-Covid patients can’t be compromised,” said doctor Sanjiv Lewin, chief of medical services, ST John’s Medical College Hospital.