9 Months On, Lone Children’s Hospital Not Yet Fully Functional

Srinagar:  Kashmir Valley’s lone neonatal hospital is in shambles. Even after the expiry of nine months when floods wrought havoc in Srinagar in September last year, the hospital building has not been restored fully and only two stories are functional. 

The Emergency ward 8 on third floor of GB Pant Hospital located in Sonawar Srinagar is locked up. There are just five life supporting devices for hundreds of patients in the hospital. Lack of ventilators and effective monitoring system has been taking a toll on patient care system. The hospital is without any Medical Superintendent while the additional job to supervise the hospital functioning has been entrusted to Dr Mushtaq, currently the MS Lal Ded Hospital, where patient rush is so huge that Dr Mushtaq finds it hard to visit GB Pant Hospital for few minutes a day.

Insiders in the hospital as well as the attendants said that not a specialist physician could be seen present in the hospital during night hours. “Interns and Nurses manage the show during night. Doctors if any present in the hospital don’t bother to attend a patient. Neonates admitted in the hospital face a huge risk to their lives as lifesaving equipment installed in the wards are either poorly maintained or have turned defunct. Besides the non-availability of sophisticated equipment’s, the wards are unhygienic where rats and cats appear in broad day light. It is the duty and obligation of hospital management to bring down hospital infections, use decontaminating equipment to improve basic cleanliness. Management has failed to keep their medical equipment, beds, sinks and even toilets sufficiently clean. You can yourself see dirt on bed rails and walls. Wards are so filthy that attendants find it hard stay with their baby patients,” said a group of attendants. They said that it were a harsh experience for them to see the condition of the hospital. Most of the neonate deaths occur due to Respiratory Distressed Syndrome (RDS).

Due to lack of effective control and mismanagement, the security staff at the hospital could frequently be seen fighting and abusing with the attendants. “The brawl between the ‘arrogant’ security staff and the attendants are the common sights. The hospital is really in shambles and needs serious and sincere attention.”

According to the Medical Superintendent Lal Ded Dr Mushtaq they are on job to make the whole building functional. “There is huge rush of patients and attendants in the hospital and it becomes sometimes impossible to control the situation,” he said but added that the Hospital is functioning smoothly. Cns

Patients dying in hospitals for want of ventilators:  DAK

Srinagar: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) Wednesday hit out at authorities for lack of ventilators in hospitals which are life savers for critically ill patients.      

President DAK Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan in a statement said it is shocking that infants, children and adults are dying in our hospitals for want of ventilators.

“There is minuscule number of ventilators in referral hospitals and peripheral health centres have no facilities of life saving equipments which leaves patients in the lurch.”   

“There are no mandatory dedicated ventilators available for disease pandemics which was the reason for spread of H1N1 and deaths during recent swine flu outbreak. Mechanical ventilation is life saving treatment for patients with respiratory failure, major surgeries, trauma, poisoning and critically sick neonates.”

He said that the majority of patients who are referred from peripheral to referral hospitals for ventilation either die on way or reach hospitals in a morbid condition as the golden time which is crucial for survival of critical patients is wasted in transit.

“Most of   patients in intensive care units of our referral hospitals die of ventilator-associated lung injury because of use of conventional ventilators. With the advent of modern ventilators like high  frequency jet ventilators and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO),  which facilitate use of lung protective ventilation, the outcome of sick patients has improved dramatically.”

“It is a wakeup call for authorities to prioritize this highly sensitive issue and keep adequate ventilators available in all health centres so as to prevent further loss of precious lives,” Dr Nisar-ul-Hasan said. 

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