Lack of ventilators in government hospitals leaves patients in the lurch

Two cases of young patients having to running from hospital to hospital for want of ventilators have yet again thrown light on the fact that there is an acute shortage of the facility in top government hospitals in the City.

Three-and-a-half-year-old Akash had to be shifted to three different government hospitals because of lack of ventilators. The family of the boy, who fell off a two-storey building at Koramangala, had to run from pillar to post to get medical help for their child. While the incident took place on Tuesday afternoon, the boy was able to get proper treatment only after 1 am on Wednesday.

“The boy fell from the building at about 3.30 pm and suffered a severe head injury. He was rushed to Nimhans from where he had to be shifted to Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health. The family was then told to take the child to some private hospital,” one of his relatives said.

All this because of a shortage of ventilators. The child is now being treated at Vani Vilas Hospital. Eight-year-old Anand from Devanahalli, too, had to go through a similar trauma as he was shifted from one hospital to another. He is now in a critical condition.

According to his family, the boy was initially rushed to Nimhans as he was unconscious and had high fever. On being informed that there were no ventilators that he could be put on, the family was forced to take the boy around in a critical condition to Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital and Vani Vilas Hospital, hoping to get a ventilator facility, but to no avail.

Anand’s family had no choice but to bring him back to Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health after all the struggle, according to the family.

Dr Premalata, Director, Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, said, “The very first time they brought the child, his condition was critical. We asked the family to take the child elsewhere as we had no ventilators at that point in time. The child’s condition has worsened as treatment was delayed. He is presently in the intensive care unit.”

The hospital has 20 ventilators – 10 each for children above and below eight years of age. The hospital, which has a 40-bed ICU, needs at least 10 doctors. Presently, it has just three, according to the director. While it ought to have at least 50 nurses, it has only 20.

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