THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Soon, Thiruvananthapuram will have the largest team of health workers in the state trained in intensive care for Covid-19 patients. Over 320 doctors and 180 nurses have already completed the first phase of the course. The advanced ICU training programme is conducted by the district medical office as part of the district administration’s capacity building measures to deal with the pandemic. “As the saying goes, we hope for the best and prepare for the worst. So far, the situation is well under control but the pandemic spread is unpredictable. Hence, we are into capacity building to the maximum, be it the number of health workers or beds,” District Collector K Gopalakrishnan explained the rat ionale behind the programme.
“A big team will be helpful in case of a community spread or when there is an influx of expatriates,” he added. The course coordinators are Dr Madhu V, anaesthesia consultant, and Dr Sreekanth D, surgeon, both working at the General Hospital. The programme has two phases - first ICU management in general and second, critical care for Covid-19 patients. In the first phase, the participants are given hands-on training in critical care. This includes the SOP and operation of various equipment.
“In the second phase, the participants will be taught on how to recognise the changes in patients’ condition and tackling each situation. For example, how to identify a heart problem and resuscitate the patient,” Madhu said. Topics like infection control practice and bio-medical waste management will be explained in the context of Coronavirus, he said. The participants are trained to handle all possible emergencies, that is to sustain the patient’s life until the specialist doctor arrives.
Ventilator management is taught in detail with hands-on training. Technicians will speak on how to operate the machines. There are classes on the safety protocol for health workers like wearing the personal protective equipment. The first phase is led by doctors of the General Hospital and second phase by MCH doctors. The administration plans to train all government doctors in the district, both specialists and non-specialists numbering around 600, and nurses.