Maharashtra medicos demand more trained ICU staff

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on August 06, 2020 Published on August 06, 2020

Point out that handling Covid patients requires high degree of skilling

With the Maharashtra government reporting 1,45,961 active cases of Covid-19 cases in the State on Wednesday with a fatality rate of 3.52 per cent, doctors and their associations are demanding even higher numbers of trained Intensive Care Unit (ICU) staff.

The Maharashtra President of Indian Medical Association, Avinash Bhondwe, told BusinessLine that as the Covid-19 patients numbers continue to rise, so does the number of ICU admissions. Running an ICU unit during Covid-19 requires a minimum of one active team on three shifts, consisting of a physician, intensivist, anesthesiologist and pulmonologist along with other para-medical staff. But in all major hospitals, such trained hands are in short supply. A minimum of 25 per cent, additional staff is required in all hospitals. The State government must look into this dire need immediately, he said.

Skilled hands needed

Bhondwe, who is a General Physical based out of Pune said that placing a patient on a ventilator machine requires the insertion of the endotracheal tube, which delivers oxygen to the lungs. The process of inserting the tube through the mouth is called endotracheal intubation, which requires very skilful handling.

Eminent neurosurgeon and Head of the Department of Neurosurgery at KEM Hospital, Atul Goel, said that the current Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented situation. There has never been a requirement for such a large number of trained medical and para-medical staff. Oxygen being a major requirement for Covid-19 patients, providing the right amount to the patient is very critical, he said.

On Thursday, a trained ICU staff can be a real lifesaver. Doctors who can monitor, introduce and control the amount of oxygen, medicines and interpret the various life-saving machines attached to patients, can be the real game-changers in patients’ health. A trained hand in ICU management, which could even be a nurse who can read the symptoms of the patient and give a calibrated supply of oxygen are the real need of the hour. “Covid-19 patients after being admitted to ICU become intermittently breathless, it is the nurse who decides whether a patient needs four litres of oxygen or 20 litres of oxygen,” Goel said.

KEM Hospital is one of the largest public hospitals in Mumbai city, which is managed by Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.



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Published on August 06, 2020
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