The medicine casualty ward of SMHS Hospital was converted into an isolation ward for suspected COVID19 patients today, a move meant to "expand isolation capacity" at the largest general specialty hospital here.
An order issued by Government Medical College Srinagar todaysaid: "Medical Casualty Ward of SMHS Hospital (be converted) into isolationward for admission of suspected COVID19 patients".
The ward, Prof Samia Rashid, principal GMC Srinagar said,will be used for admitting patients suspected of coronavirus infection. "As perunion health ministry guidelines, we have to treat every respiratory infectionas a suspected case right now," she said.
She added that the decision to expand the isolation facilityfor COVID19 was taken to avoid patients with respiratory symptoms with othermedical emergencies.
SMHS Hospital, she said, already had an 11 bedded isolationward which was "falling short". "Now we will have 50 more beds to admitpatients with respiratory illness and suspected of infection," she said.
As per the order, patients requiring admission will beadmitted to surgical casualty ward of the hospital. The administration of SMHSHospital has been directed to ensure that there is no "intermingling ofpatients and staff between isolation ward and other area of the hospital.
Some doctors expressed concern over the decision to utilizeSMHS Hospital for admitting suspected COVID19 patients. "It is one hospitalthat we really need to keep safe for patients of other medical and surgicalemergencies," a surgeon working at GMC Srinagar said. He said that it was anunnecessary measure and Government could have done without this.
Another doctor, a faculty at GMC Srinagar said the moveneeded to be revisited. "Pediatrics, maternity and medical and surgicalemergencies cannot be stopped even if there is an epidemic," he said. He saidthe least that Government could do was to create an alternate ward in SuperSpecialty Hospital with a separate entry and exit for COVID19 suspected cases.
As per the recent SOPissued by J&K government, SMHS Hospital, Super Specialty Hospital, SKIMSSoura Chest Diseases Hospital, GB Pant Hospital in Kashmir division and GMCHospital Jammu, SMGS Hospital Jammu and SMVD Narayana Katra are the level 3hospitals meant to admit and manage severely sick COVID19 cases.
These hospitals, equipped with ventilators and high flowoxygen have been directed to manage COVID19 patients with Acute RespiratoryDistress Syndrome, Sepsis and Septic Shock. In addition, these healthcarefacilities also have round-the clock ICU teams.