Covid-19 Educational Employment Health Telangana

Misleading figures: Half the ICU beds listed on State dashboard don’t exist

Hyderabad: While Telangana is struggling to stand on its feet, shortage of hospital beds has returned to haunt the State, especially Hyderabad, as data on the State dashboard is misleading. For instance, Osmania General Hospital (OGH), according to the dashboard, has over 200 ICU beds.

But these beds are only being used for Covid suspects and not for confirmed cases, making them technically pointless for Covid-19 patients. Express confirmed the same from the superintendent of the hospital.

As on Thursday evening (6 pm), there were only nine ICU beds to spare in the government facilities across Hyderabad, barring the 200+ shown in OGH, a hospital kept on standby if the situation gets worse.Sources from medical sector stated that these were only C-Pap and BiPAP machined ICU beds and that ventilators were virtually over!

Statewide, the dashboard shows 705 ICU beds in government hospitals, including the 200 beds in OGH which are not operational for Covid cases. This leaves us with 505 beds. The biggest chunk of this, at least 150 beds, are shown to be in Ramagundam Area Hospital in Peddapalli.

However, Express found that it was a false entry and the hospital has no ICU beds whatsoever. “We presently have only 40 oxygen beds,” said a representative of the hospital. This leaves the State infrastructure with just 355 beds strewn across 33 hospitals, at an average of 10-20 beds per district.

“The current situation is extremely grave that a ventilator becomes vacant only after the death of the patient put on its support. If the condition of someone on oxygen support deteriorates, then we can’t even shift the patient to our hospital’s ICU as ventilators are occupied. We are referring them to Gandhi or TIMS, though they too have reached the threshold,” said a doctor from District Hospital King Koti. It is learnt that many referred to bigger hospitals are dying halfway in ambulances.

Meanwhile, a group of 35 IT professionals from Hyderabad have now taken upon themselves to individually call all hospitals in Hyderabad, once a day, to enquire about actual bed status and are updating the same on a website, by the name ‘Covid bed info’, to provide accurate data. “The figures shown on dashboard and the data from the hospitals are not corresponding at all.

There are hardly any ICU beds in private hospitals either. In fact, they are straight away saying they will take younger patients and not the older ones, as the formers’ chances of survival and recovery are higher. An older patient will have to be put on ventilator for 14 days, and might eventually die. But in the same phase, two to four young patients can be put on ventilator and they would survive,” said Kapil Sriram, a techie who manages the Covid bed info grou.

Some pictures taken outside Gandhi Hospital on Wednesday last night have gone viral on social media. These depict the horror of the second wave as about 15-20 ambulances wait outside the emergency building of the hospital with patients inside. It appears that due to a shortage of beds, critical patients have been left inside ambulance vans.

The relatives of patients can also be seen waiting. The photographs don’t come as a surprise as it has been nearly five-six days since Gandhi has had any beds empty. All 625 ICU beds which have ventilator support, are occupied