Intrinsic shortage of ICU beds prolong treatment of Covid infected in Bengaluru

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Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has charged 10 hospitals with the incapacity to provide obligated beds to the Covid patients, and yet, the city is struggling with the shortage of beds.

On Thursday, a 70 year-old man had a collapse in the oxygen saturation and was not getting an ICU bed in any of the hospitals in Bengaluru owing to shortage of beds. The man was taken to a local clinic in the wee hours of October 7 as he regurgitated blood and had a drop in oxygen saturation. The clinic suggested to get admitted to a hospital. That was a daunting task, as his son stated, What followed was a nightmare. No hospital was willing to admit him because he was critical.”

There was delay in the testing for Covid-19, which then happened on October 8 at Baptist Hospital.

“The news was shocking because he did not have the classic symptoms of the disease such as fever, cough, or loss of smell or taste,” his son stated. He assumed that the vomiting was an outcome of his rigorous drinking post September 24, which marked the death of his mother.

It was an ardent task for the man to be hospitalized. “In all, I took my father to seven hospitals in an ambulance from LR Bande to Gandhinagar but was turned away by all. A further 10 to 11 hospitals were called on the phone without a positive result. Inquiries were made in person at a further seven hospitals by other family members, again without a bed being secured,” he added.

The BBMP asked for a period of two days to give them a bed, according to the son. Meanwhile, the family got a bed at St John’s hospital, where he was confirmed Covid-19 positive again.

One of the government officials acknowledged about the shortage, The problem is that the number of beds kept vacant for the government ends up being mysteriously filled when a patient needs to be allocated under the government quota.” IAS officer Tushar Girinath, handling the transport of Covid-19 patients, iterated the problem government is facing in terms of getting the precise number of beds. Tushar said, “We had deployed a system whereby hospitals could report their beds, but they did not use this facility. We are calling hospitals in the morning to obtain vacancy numbers, but this is imperfect. We are currently developing a system to monitor government-quota beds in real-time.”

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