NEW DELHI: The Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital in Delhi has come up with a special Covid-19 ward for children, the first-of-its-kind among any government hospital in the city. “We get many children who get separated from their parents in the hospital in cases where the father or mother is moved to ICU or requires ventilation if their condition deteriorates.
In such cases, the child are left alone. Children with Covid-19 usually don’t need ventilation or oxygen. Also, the pattern of living in most families is nuclear, so they would feel secluded and miss parents. And therefore we thought of coming up with this special ward so that their attention can be diverted,” said Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director, Lok Nayak Hospital.
The children's ward with a theme of ‘From Suffering to Happiness’ can hold up to 40 patients. It has got seven large-screen television sets where cartoons are played to divert their minds. The rooms have been decorated with balloons and there is a provision for outdoor activities which include swings and seesaws among others. Children from the age group of 1 to 14 are to be kept in this ward.
“Many kids are negative but parents are positive. Where will they go? We understood their emotions. Most children only have a mild form of the illness, and less than 5 per cent of all such cases are admitted. We did some homework and then started the project. Only a few of them develop complications, otherwise, most are asymptomatic.
If anyone has an immunodeficiency problem or birth defect, they have some serious illness and those cases are complicated and require seperate attention. The idea to open such a ward was also encouraged by both the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Health Minister Satyendar Jain,” said Dr Kumar.So far, the hospital was trying to keep the children happy by providing them with good food and made sure that nurses were spending time with them, but that was not sufficient enough to console them.
“The asymptomatic children can play around and stay engaged in some activity. We have child psychologists but they are only available till 5 pm. Other than that, we are also conducting a study on the impact of Covid-19 on children and their psychological behaviour,” Dr Kumar said.
Most children with Covid-19 asymptomatic
According to Dr Kumar, most children diagnosed with Covid-19 are asymptomatic and do not develop any severe complications. Only 5 per cent of all such cases require hospitalisation. Ones with immunodeficiency problems or birth defects may require separate medical attention