In a hazardous move, the authorities at SMHS hospital here have kept a patient who has tested positive for H1N1 in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) ward putting the lives of other patients, admitted in the highly sensitive ward, to risk.
The move also created panic among the hospital staff. According to a senior medico at SMHS hospital, a patient in his mid-50's, was admitted in SICU recently with the symptoms of Swine Flu that include breathlessness, cough and cold.
"At the very onset, we suspected him as a case of Swine Flu. His symptoms indicated that he was infected by the virus," the doctor said, wishing anonymity. He said the swabs of the patient were taken and sent to SKIMS, Soura for testing.
"The reports clearly showed that he was positive for H1N1 influenza. Initially his condition worsened and he was put on ventilator," the doctor said. "It's been more than a week since he was admitted in the ward. At present he has been put off the ventilator."
"Many attendants requested us to shift the patient with Swine Flu, but we are helpless," another doctor said. "There was panic all around the ward especially among the staff that includes doctors and para-medics."
According to experts, instead of shifting the patient to isolation ward at the Chest Diseases Hospital at Dalgate, the authorities have directed SICU staff to take precautions.
"We took the swab samples of other patients admitted the ward and thank God, all of them turned out negative for H1N1. But the step taken by the hospital administration was dangerous," the doctor said.
"We have now been given some medicines that include masks and Tamiflu injections. But why the hospital administration doesn't shift the patient."
The doctors asserted that the patient should be immediately shifted from the ward.
"Though his condition is improving, but we still recommend that since panic has gripped the entire ward, he should be shifted to isolation ward without any further delay," they said.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Medical Superintendent SMHS hospital Dr NazirChoudhary admitted that the patient is admitted in SICU of SMHS. "He is improving. He was on ventilator," Choudhary said.
On being asked why the patient was not being shifted to isolation ward, MS said it was difficult to shift him at this juncture. "We have already distributed enough medicines among the staff including doctors and para-medics and there is no need to worry," he said.
Asked why there is no isolation ward in the SMHS hospital, DrChowdhary said that the authorities have already set up a full-fledged isolation ward at Chest Diseases Hospital.
"We can't have isolation wards everywhere," he said. Chowhdary also admitted that there was no testing facility available for the patients suspected for H1N1 virus at SMHS. "We have a laboratory at SKIMS where tests related to Swine Flu are being done," he said.