Bengaluru hospitals run out of beds in ICU

Bengaluru hospitals run out of beds in ICU, non-COVID patients suffer

Heera Devi (75), who is suffering from chronic renal failure, requires intensive care. But her daughter, a domestic help, cannot afford the 15-day ICU stay at a private hospital, which would cost her around Rs 3 lakh.

The 108 ambulance service made enquiries at all the government hospitals in the city, but received the same answer.   

The Jayanagar General Hospital, with only six beds in the ICU and four ventilators, and the KC General Hospital, Malleswaram, also with six beds in the ICU and five ventilators, were full. The Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital with 20 beds and ventilators could not admit Devi as she was a not a COVID-19 patient.

Finally, the Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences took her in as it was a critical case and the patient needed multi-speciality care. Devi was then referred to the Institute of Nephro Urology, but was discharged against medical advice from Jayadeva as her family wanted to take her home.

Follow live updates on coronavirus here

With the city's healthcare system working to fight COVID-19, poor people needing intensive care are facing hardship to get beds in ICUs.

Dr H D R Radhakrishna, medical superintendent, CV Raman General Hospital, said the ICU facility is currently not functional due to some ongoing work. The conversion of Victoria Hospital, Emergency and Trauma Care Centre, PMSSY Hospital, and the Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital into COVID-19 facilities has lessened the number of ICU beds available for the poor by 100.

According to Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar, the facilities will continue to be dedicated to COVID-19 for another two months.

According to Dr H S Sathish, medical superintendent, Victoria Hospital, 35 ICU beds at the Emergency and Trauma Care Centre and 15 at the Victoria Hospital are dedicated for the treatment of COVID-19.

There are 30 ICU beds at the PMSSY Hospital. "But since the hospital is being used for COVID-19 doctors on duty for quarantine, no patients are being admitted to the ICU," said a senior doctor from the hospital.

Sudhakar told DH there are 17 district hospitals under the medical education department. There are 12 super-speciality hospitals under the department that are acting as COVID-19 facilities.

"By June or July, we need to look at an exit plan. Globally, we have seen spikes. So, we are not ready for an exit yet. At an appropriate time, we will plan the exit in a staggered way," the minister said. "We have a tie-up with private and corporate hospitals. We expect them to take on the load that tertiary care hospitals were shouldering so far." 

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox