In a letter to the hospital’s medical superintendent, it has been learned that all the available ventilators in the COVID-19 intensive care unit of Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS) are not working.
The letter was written by chairperson of the department of anesthesiology and ICU LUMHS, saying that COVID-19 ICU also lacks nurses and technicians; there is only one staff nurse in the morning shift and just three dispensers for 18 patients in ICC/HDU.
The letter confessed: “All ventilators of different make and brand have become non-functional due to a number of faults that include calibration, oxygen sensor, and no battery backup in case of power failure. Circuits of ventilators are old and leaking. Six ventilators don’t have compressors at all. Hence they consume a large amount of oxygen, and there use is hazardous. Some ventilators don’t have an option for non-invasive ventilation.”
It urgently requires to provide good quality Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines with face masks.
It also said: “CPAP machines have hard and poor quality face masks that do not seal tightly with the patient’s face. There is a spillage of viral load in ICU. Intubation trolley and the emergency trolley is a prerequisite in ICU and be made available”.
The letter demanded immediate provision of trained yet qualified technical staff and “relocating ventilators (Hamilton C), monitors, and other machines to Covid-19 ICU.
It has also revealed that the health department has recruited 22 anesthetists, but only seven have joined the hospital so far; according to sources in LUH and the university, the shortage of technicians and nursing staff is a serious concern.
They also said that critically ill patients in ICU, when irritated, tended to remove masks if connected with non-invasive ventilation systems; the doctor disclosed that the provided ventilators to the ICU are used.
Highlighting ‘pathetic conditions’ in the ICU by Hyderabad deputy commissioner in a letter sent to authorities also revealed the fact that the mortality rate is on the constant rise; out of 68 deaths in Hyderabad, 47 have taken place in LUH.