Hyderabad: An increasing number of Covid-19 deaths in the State are primarily due to the lack of timely medical help. Doctors across several government hospitals, however, argue that patients are either reaching hospitals very late or are dead on arrival.
“We had a patient who was just 29 years old. He was admitted after a great delay as he was searching for a bed with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) facility for three days. He did get the bed finally but despite three days of treatment he passed away,” a doctor from Nizamabad Government Hospital said.
The patient had no co-morbidities and died merely because oxygen beds were not available anywhere. In several rural areas, patients are breathing their last on arrival.
“This is happening both due to shortage of beds and lack of awareness among patients’ families. Many are also intimidated by the costs involved because even basic ambulances are charging hefty sums,” added another doctor.
In TIMS as well, the situation is the same. “Oxygen and ICU beds are scarce. We had a patient who was sent away from nine to 11 hospitals before the ambulance got him to TIMS. His oxygen was 60% forcing us to directly send him to the ICU. Ideally, a 47-year-old patient like him could have just been put on oxygen support and discharged early but the delay made his chances of recovery tenuous,” said a doctor.
As on Wednesday 8 pm, around 775 ICU beds and 2,987 oxygen beds were available in the government hospitals across Telangana. However, 100 of these ICU beds are in Osmania General Hospital which is only treating suspected Covid-19 patients. The rest of the beds are primarily in districts. In Hyderabad, only 51 ICU beds were available at 8 pm.
Meanwhile, senior health officials urged people with moderate to mild symptoms to avoid rushing to hospitals. “What we are seeing is that patients are coming to hospitals are in the last stage of infection. If your oxygen saturation is falling and you are an individual with co-morbidities, go to a hospital at the earliest,” Dr Ramesh Reddy, Director of Medical Education says.