Tribune News Service
Patiala, April 2
Resident doctors and staff nurses of Government Rajindra Hospital here were exposed to the coronavirus for no fault of theirs. Consequently, resident doctors had to undergo self-isolation for precautionary measures.
In fact, 42-year-old corona suspected patient from Ludhiana, who died at the hospital later, was brought to the Emergency first before taking her to the isolation ward — breaching the COVID-19 protocol.
The staff at emergency, who were not supposed to wear protective gear, examined the patient clinically without proper kit, thereby exposed themselves to the virus.
As per the ICMR guidelines, all COVID-19 suspected patients have to be taken directly to the isolation ward — a special dedicated room for the positive patients. Due to the missing link in the chain of communication, resident doctors at the emergency ward at the hospital had already been exposed to the virus, said the experts.
Worryingly, the resident doctors, thereafter, treated many other patients at the emergency ward, therefore, those (patients) are also at risk of infection and should be traced, say the experts.
Though, hospital authorities claim that resident doctors on duty were wearing masks and gloves, experts said personal protective equipment (PPE) kit is necessary for treating suspected patients.
Until now, the emergency ward has not been sanitized. Though, as many as four resident doctors who were exposed to the COVID-19 patient have already self-isolated themselves.
Meanwhile, senior doctors at the hospital said they were scared to work under these circumstances where protocols were not strictly followed.
A doctor of the medicine department, said, “The entire ward and medical devices used on that day should have been sanitized. The negligence creates a sense of fear among doctors.”
Dr Paras Pandove, Medical Superintendent, said it was not negligence but lack of communication. He said that first it was a referred case, therefore, the authorities who referred the patients had to inform in advance; second, kin of the patient could have informed about the same.
He added, “We have already deployed a special doctor at the emergency ward, who will be equipped with the PPE kit, to check the patients so as to avoid such incidents. We are trying our best so that our doctors are not exposed to COVID-19.”