GB Pant Hospital continues to ail
Despite Govt Promises, Equipment Shortage Grows In Lab, Blood Bank; Hired Ventilators Lying Defunct
Srinagar, May 26: The problems are far from over at the GB Pant Children Hospital here which is in dock over high rate of infant deaths since January this year. More than a week after government announced upgrading the facilities on war footing at the institute, there is no let up to equipment shortage at its two vital wings, Laboratory and Blood Bank.
A source told Greater Kashmir that many equipments for carrying out a range of tests have either turned non-functional or they are unavailable in the laboratory.
The only ABG (Acid, Base and Gas) analyzer is lying defunct. “It is one of the important equipments used for carrying different blood investigations and always required in case of intensive care and emergency situations,” the source said. In absence of the facility the samples collected are sent to SMHS Hospital- a time consuming process which makes patients vulnerable.
Surprisingly, the equipment was donated by a doctor years ago and the 45-year old institute has not purchased one of its own. One of the two centrifuges in the laboratory is defunct while the Thyroid Test Analyzer and the facility for conducting RF/ASO (blood tests) are unavailable.
The hospital has witnessed around 385 infant deaths this year, many of them due to lack of infrastructure like ventilators and monitors.
An official sarcastically said even the low costing uro-strips used for checking the albumin and sugar levels in the urine were not available in the hospital. “Only few days ago we received the supply.”
The equipment shortage surfaced at a meeting between the Medical Superintendent, Muneer Masoodi, and employees at the Laboratory on Friday. The latter are learnt to have told the MS that the Laboratory needs renovation on modern lines for providing better facility to the patients.
The situation is no different in the Blood Bank. While the Gel Incubator is lying non-functional for many months the Gel centrifuge has also turned defunct recently. The equipments are used for cross matching of blood.
A source said a general centrifuge used for conducting routine tests is used in place of the Gel centrifuge.
There is no cell washer, which separates blood components, FFP, Platelets and Plasma, for testing. The hospital had some time back purchased Freezer for preservation of the blood. But the costly machine is lying defunct for the authorities have not purchased a stabilizer for running it.
The source said the two ventilators which were shifted from SMHS and JLNM hospitals here were lying unused. The official said the equipments were without compressors which regulates the oxygen supply to the patient. Besides, he said these ventilators are actually used for adult patients and can in no way be used for infants.
A team of engineers had come to the institute today to undertake “preventive maintenance” of the existing ventilators at the institute. The GB Pant has six ventilators.
“These equipments are running non-stop for past five to seven years. Some of them have non-stop working period of 29,000 hours while for others it ranges between 22000 to 25000 hours,” the source said. “Once a high risk patient is taken off from the ventilator, due to influx of patients, neither do the authorities get time to disinfect the ventilators for re-use nor can the equipment be given resting period due to lack of adequate facility.”
On May 18, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had visited the hospital and termed the condition there “grave”
while assuring that government would not allow the situation to deteriorate further.
A day before, Commissioner/Secretary Health MK Diwedi told a press conference that the institute was hit by “shortage of capacities on all fronts” while announcing government’s “blanket approval” for purchase of required equipments. He also announced 40 additional nurses and other paramedical staff would be posted there.
However, sources said government only shifted five senior grade nurses from Srinagar-based hospitals to the GB Pant. The government is mulling to shift senior specialists and employees from administration at different hospitals here to the GB Pant. “They (Government) are robbing other city institutions of manpower and equipments to make up for the shortage at the children hospital,” a source said.
The MS said, “The required equipments will be made available. Give me 10 days to fix the problem,” he said.
About ventilators, he said the equipments were “new”, and they were waiting for the company engineers to arrive and make them operational.
But there is no explanation from the government or hospital administration on delay over purchase of equipments or repairing defunct tools.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 26 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 26 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 27 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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