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Covid-19: No complete critical care facility in Khulna Division

  • Published at 08:34 pm April 24th, 2020
File photo of a ICU unit at a Hospital Dhaka Tribune

In addition to the 18 ICU beds, the government has prepared a total 932 isolation beds for the treatment of Covid-19 patients in the 10 districts of the division

A total of 18 intensive care unit (ICU) beds are available for Covid-19 patients at two district hospitals in Khulna Division, but they are still failing to provide critical care to patients due to the lack of necessary equipment.

In addition to the 18 ICU beds, the government has prepared a total 932 isolation beds for the treatment of Covid-19 patients in the 10 districts of the division, according to data from Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

Of the total 18 ICU beds, 10 are in Khulna and eight in Satkhira. None of them are complete with all necessary critical care equipment, such as monitors, infusion pumps and ventilators.

The government recently had to airlift an infected doctor of Khulna Medical College Hospital (KMCH) to Dhaka after his condition deteriorated, due to the lack of necessary critical care facilities. The doctor, KMCH Urologist Masud Ahmed, was admitted to Mugda General Hospital after arriving in the capital via a Bangladesh Air Force helicopter on Thursday  

Earlier on April 15, Dr Md Moyeen Uddin, associate professor of Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College (SOMC), died from Covid-19 in Dhaka. The doctor, who had been working on the front lines in the battle against coronavirus in Sylhet, could not get proper treatment when his condition deteriorated because of a lack of proper facilities in the district.

Isolation beds ready, but not critical care facilities

In conversation with Dhaka Tribune, the civil surgeons of Kushtia, Bagerhat, Chuadanga, Jhenaidah and Meherupur said they do not have any intensive care facilities and patients will have to be transferred if they are in need of critical care.

Jessore General Hospital Resident Medical Officer Arif Ahmed said the Covid-19 treatment is conducted in five steps.

“We have been asked to provide treatment locally until step two and then send the patient to Dhaka after that, if needed. With this capacity, we can only treat patients with primary symptoms,” he added.

In Magura, they do have some ventilators, but they are largely useless due to a lack of ICUs and critical care facilities.

Ill-equipped ICUs at Khulna, Satkhira

In Khulna, 12 ICU beds have been prepared with ventilators at the dedicated hospital for treating Covid-19 patients, Civil Surgeon Dr Sujat Ahmed said.

“There are ICU facilities at the private Gazi Medical, City Medical and Ad-Din Medical Hospitals, which we may use if needed,” he added.

However, Farid Uddin Ahmed, focal person of the hospital dedicated to Covid-19 in the district, said they have 10 ICU beds but they are not fully equipped.

“Monitors, ventilators, oxygen support and air support are essential for critical care. It is true we have 10 ICU beds, but they have shortcomings. There is no mechanism for instant investigation and examination of the patients at the hospital,” he said.

The doctor said infusion pumps, which are heavily used at ICUs, and dedicated x-ray facilities are not available at the hospital.

“Also, manpower is very crucial, because, without manpower, only ICU beds cannot do anything,” he said.

On the other hand, Satkhira civil surgeon Dr Husain Safayat claimed they have ICU facilities in a small scale at Satkhira Sadar Hospital.

“We have eight beds, but intensive care is given on a small scale as all the equipment required to provide intensive care is not available. Also, there are eight ventilators,” he said.

Hedait Hossain of Khulna, Nayon Khandaker of Jhenaidah, Mehedi Hasan of Chuadanga, S M Shamsur Rahman of Bagerhat, Tauhid Zaman of Jessore, Al-Mamun Sagar of Kushtia, Ashraful Islam of Meherpur, and Mazharul Haque Lipu of Magura, and Md Asaduzzaman Sarder of Satkhira contributed to this report.

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