Karnataka has enough ventilators: Health officials

Karnataka has enough ventilators: Health officials

A total of 535 designated hospitals across Karnataka have been identified for the isolation and treatment of suspected Covid-19 cases.

Of them, 203 are public health facilities and 332 are private set ups. The total number of beds available for isolation is 2,658. In this, 1,114 are in government facilities and 1,544 are in private health facilities.

As far as ventilators are concerned, the government health facilities have 234 designated ventilators and private health facilities have 506 designated ventilators for Covid-19. Is that  enough considering the population of the state? Yes, say state health officials, despite Chief Minister Yediyurappa’s announcement on Monday that private hospitals will spare 100 ventilators for use and Health Minister B Sriramulu announcing purchase of 1,000 ventilators from Mysuru-based company Skanray.

“The calculation of the required number of ventilators is made not based on the population, but with the number of positive Covid-19 cases,” said Dr B G Prakash Kumar, joint director, Communicable Diseases, Department of Health and Family Welfare.

“The state currently has 33 positive COVID-19 cases and 81% of positive cases do not require admnission. Only 14% of positive cases require admission and 4% require admission in ICU,” Kumar said.

He reiterated that ventillators are required only when patients get really sick and need mechanical support to breathe and fortunately none of the 33 positive cases so far have reached that stage.

Cost of ventillators

A managing partner from a Bengaluru-based medical equipment dealer who has sold adult and paediatric ventillators to major private hospitals as well as eminent hospitals like Nimhans, said cost of an ICU ventillator ranges from Rs 4 lakh to Rs 12 lakh. “Fast-moving brands are Drager, General Electric Maqet and Hamilton. While I’ve seen a spike in demand for digital thermometers, I am yet to see a spike in demand for ICU ventilators,” he said.  

“In the event of a crisis, it is the government hospitals that will place purchase orders and not private hospitals,” he added. “ICU beds are less in Bengaluru compared to other places. Anyway, there is also a refurbished market where refurbished ventillators are sold. Ventillators an also be booked on a rental basis. Also, the government hospitals do not buy refurbished ventillators, I feel,” he said.  

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