2 yrs on, paediatric ICU at Ludhiana Civil Hospital gathers dust

Equipped with 9 ventilators & 19 beds, the facility lies non-operational

2 yrs on, paediatric ICU at Ludhiana Civil Hospital gathers dust

Ventilators have not been used due to the shortage of trained manpower in the Civil Hospital in Ludhiana. Tribune photo

Manav Mander

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 3

Yesterday, a 50-bed paediatric Covid care ward was inaugurated at Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) by the Chief Minister to tackle the possible third wave of Covid-19, however, the existing infrastructure at government hospital lies in neglect.

Two years on, the paediatric intensive care unit (ICU) at Civil Hospital which is equipped with ventilators and oxygen facility is still non-operational.

In 2019, the Mother and Child Hospital of Civil Hospital got nine ventilators and 19 beds equipped with oxygen supply in the newborn intensive care unit but due to the lack of trained staff they are only gathering dust. Presently, critical cases are referred either to the CMCH, Rajindra Hospital, Patiala or the PGIMER, Chandigarh.

The Civil Surgeon, Dr Kiran Gill, said she is aware of the fact that ventilators in the intensive care unit are lying unused. For emergency cases, oxygen facility is used for patients in this ward.

“The main reason behind the non-use of the facilities is shortage of staff. We have only two paediatricians. In addition to this, we also need trained staff which include intensivist in-charge, nurses, respiratory therapist, nutritionist, technicians, computer programmer, pharmacist etc., who should be there round the clock in the ward. The main hitch in starting the ward is the shortage of staff,” said Dr Gill.

She further said with government making preparations for the third wave, the department will be writing to the government to give them additional staff so that paediatric critical care unit at Civil Hospital can be started.

A doctor from Civil Hospital, on the condition of anonymity, said it has been two years that ventilators at the paediatric ICU are gathering dust.

“There is an acute shortage of nursing staff apart from other staff. One staff nurse is required for one patient on ventilator but here one nurse is taking care of more than 5-8 patients,” said he.

Senior Medical Officers and Civil Surgeons in the past have been writing to the government to appoint trained staff so that paediatric intensive care unit can be made operational but to no avail.

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