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Infants suffer as ventilator shortage hits MGM hospital in Telangana's Warangal

Around 10 to 12 children get admitted to the hosp per day, but there are only 8 ventilators to cater to their needs

Published: 04th January 2021 08:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th January 2021 08:29 AM   |  A+A-

Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (MGM) Hospital in Warangal.

Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (MGM) Hospital in Warangal.

Express News Service

WARANGAL: An acute shortage of ventilators in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (MGM) Hospital, the only big government hospital in northern Telangana, is taking a toll on several infants and children who require immediate medical attention.

Though the government had earlier promised to provide super speciality facilities in all government hospitals, the word went down the drain, as a result of which the MGM Hospital still doesn’t have adequate workforce or infrastructure.

Many poor people, who cannot afford treatment in corporate hospitals, depend solely on MGM. However, the situation in the hospital is turning dicey day after day.  While the NICU ward in MGM provides treatment to infants who are less than 30-days-old, the PICU ward provides treatment to children between the ages of two months and 12 years. According to sources, 10 to 12 infants, who require emergency care, get admitted to either the PICU or NICU in MGM Hospital daily.

However, for the total 40 beds in the NICU and PICU wards, the hospital currently has only eight ventilators and 40 warmers to cater to the requirements of scores of infants. Meanwhile, two ventilators are currently under repair, making the situation worse. 

Shockingly, as the NICU ward in the hospital is forced to admit more babies than its capacity, at least three infants are being treated using one warmer due to the acute shortage of life-support machines.As a result of this situation, parents of scores of infants who require urgent medical attention are forced to queue up in front of the hospital, waiting for their child’s ‘turn’.Hence, some parents are left with no other option but to approach private hospitals. It may be mentioned here that ventilator facilities in private hospitals cost a fortune, which the poor people can’t bear. 

Sloppy purchase

According to officials at MGM, a report, explaining an urgent requirement of at least 10 ventilators in the children’s ward, has already been submitted to the higher-ups. Though they recently purchased five ventilators using the Prime Minister (PM) Cares Fund, these machines were not suitable for newborn, as a result of which they had to be returned. 

Although there is a special ward, designated exclusively for children, the block is being used as an isolation ward for Covid-19 patients, and the equipment in the children’s ward were shifted to another building wherein the ventilators have not been given proper connections.

When Express contacted MGM Hospital Superintendent Dr K Nagarjuna Reddy, he said that the hospital management has already informed the officials concerned about the situation. “At present, three ventilators have been shifted to the children’s ward from other departments. The five broken ventilators will be repaired soon. We have also requested the department concerned to provide five more ventilators to MGM Hospital,” he added.



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