• Tuesday, May 17, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

2 out of 3 ICU beds occupied in Dhaka

  • Published at 09:54 pm November 16th, 2020
ICU-doctor-nurse-health-worker
A health worker enters the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Hospitals facing surge of critical coronavirus patients, with over 200 patients admitted to ICUs for the second time in 45 days

A second wave of coronavirus expected in winter is fast approaching, and the demand for ICU beds at most Dhaka hospitals is increasing every day.

Currently, there are 309 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds for critical Covid-19 patients in Dhaka and 202 (65%) of them were occupied as of Monday morning.

The number of patients admitted to ICUs in Dhaka were 202 on November 14 and 199 on November 15.

The number of critical patients admitted to ICUs crossed 200-mark on November 14, nearly 45 days after 201 cases were last recorded in ICUs on October 1.

Data compiled by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) shows that there were 173 patients at ICUs in Dhaka on October 15 and 172 patients on November 1.

Bangladesh has long suffered from an ICU crisis, with many district hospitals lacking ICUs. Similar problems have been reported in many public and private medical college hospitals.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says 15%-20% of Covid-19 cases require hospitalization, with around 15% of cases presenting severe symptoms and 5% requiring intensive care.

No ICU beds vacant at six hospitals

Currently, 19 hospitals in Dhaka- 10 government and nine private- are providing ICU facilities for Covid-19 patients.

Following a huge rush of patients, no ICU beds were vacant at six hospitals in Dhaka – five public and one private.

Date

ICU Total

Occupied

Vacant

Nov 15

314

199

115

Nov 14

314

202

112

Nov 1

314

172

142

Oct 15

314

173

141

Oct 1

314

201

113

Source: DGHS

All 10 ICU beds at Kurmitola General Hospital, 16 beds at Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Hospital, 14 beds at Mugda Medical College Hospital, 16 beds at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), 12 beds at Bangladesh Specialized Hospital, and six beds at Sarkari Karmachari Hospital,Fulbaria, in Dhaka were occupied as of Monday morning.

Twenty out of 24 beds were occupied at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (Unit 2) and Burn Unit, and 15 out of 10 ICU beds were occupied at Rajarbagh Police Hospital, DGHS data shows.

Ten out of 16 ICU beds were empty at Sheikh Russel Gastroliver Hospital as of Monday.

There is no dedicated ICU for Covid-19 patients at the Infectious Diseases Hospital and Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital (SSMCH) in Dhaka.

Private hospitals

No ICU beds at Bangladesh Specialized Hospital were free as of Monday.

Six out of ten ICU beds were occupied at Anwar Khan Modern Medical College Hospital, 22 out of 31 ICUs at Asgar Ali Hospital, 10 out of 25 beds at Square Hospital, 15 out of 22 at United Hospital, 18 out of 20 beds at Evercare Hospital, nine out of 56 at Impulse Hospital, and seven out of 10 beds at AMZ Hospital were occupied as of Monday.

Why are more patients needing ICU facilities?

Healthcare experts said the lack of ICU beds at district hospitals is a major reason for the heavy pressure of patients at ICUs in Dhaka.

“There are no ICUs in many districts, so patients are coming to Dhaka for better treatment and their admissions are increasing pressure on Dhaka ICUs,” Prof Nazrul Islam, a member of the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 (NTAC-Covid-19), told Dhaka Tribune.


Also Read - Covid-19: Only 69 out of 218 ICUs actually functional in Dhaka


“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on multiple occasions has asked the ministries concerned to set up ICUs in all districts, but the directives remain ignored. Now, the government should find out why the ICUs are not yet in place,” Dr Nazrul, also former vice chancellor of BSMMU, said.

If the government does not develop ICU facilities in all districts and ensure a central oxygen supply, patients and the healthcare system will pay a heavy toll, he opined.

Officials concerned said an ICU unit costs Tk1.60 lakh to Tk2.50 lakh, subject to the quality.

ICUs promised 6 years ago

Late former health minister Mohammed Nasim six years ago told the parliament the government was setting up ICUs at every district hospital. However, no progress has been seen since then.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in April, a month after the detection of the first Covid-19 cases in Bangladesh, said the government would set up Intensive Care Units (ICUs) in all districts of the country.

“We will set up an ICU in a good hospital in every district. We have decided to do so in all districts in phases,” she said on April 27.

On June 2, during a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council, the premier directed the authorities to establish ICUs in every district hospital and ensure they are appropriately equipped. She also asked to ensure proper flow of oxygen for patients suffering from breathing-related ailments.


Also Read - PM: District hospitals will be ready for second wave of Covid-19


On October 8, the prime minister said the government was taking all-out preparations to keep district hospitals ready with ICUs and necessary oxygen to effectively deal with the possible second wave of coronavirus, which may arrive in winter.

Eminent healthcare expert Professor Rashid E Mahbub warned that the second wave may hit harder if ICU facilities, ventilation facilities, and a central oxygen supply is not put in place immediately.

Mahbub, also former Bangladesh Medical Association president and chairman of Bangladesh Health Rights Movement, told Dhaka Tribune the government would also have to train manpower for effective operation of ICUs.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque and Md Abdul Mannan, secretary of health services division under the Health Ministry, could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts.

Sl.

Hospital

ICU facilities

Total

Occupied

Vacant


Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital

16

15

01


Kurmitola General Hospital

10

10

00


Dhaka Medical College Hospital (Unit-2) and Burn Unit

24

21

03


Mugda Medical College Hospital

14

14

00


Rajarbagh Police Hospital

15

10

05


Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University

16

13

03


Infectious Diseases Hospital

00

00

00


Sheikh Russel Gastroliver Hospital

16

06

10


Sarkari Karmachari Hospital, Fulbaria

06

03

03


Shaheed Shuhrawardy Medical College Hospital

00

00

00


Anwar Khan Modern Medical College Hospital

10

06

04


Asgar Ali Hospital

36

24

12


Square Hospital

25

09

16


IBN Sina Hospital

06

06

00


United Hospital

22

14

08


Evercare Hospital

20

18

02


Impulse Hospital

56

14

42


AMZ Hospital

10

04

06


Bangladesh Specialized Hospital

12

12

00

Total

314

199

115

50
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