s the COVID-19 cases continue to rise unabated in the valley, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Friday said more Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds are needed to save severely-ill patients.
”We need to increase the number of ICU beds in hospitals to prevent corona deaths,” DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan said.
He said hospitals in Kashmir are witnessing increase in admissions of severe and critically ill COVID-19 patients over the past two weeks. ”And many of them need intensive care and/or ventilator support,” he said.
The DAK president said at SMHS hospital, ”we receive 20-30 severe cases every day, and many of them are critical.”
”They come in with ravaged lungs and oxygen levels as low as 50-60. They need ICU beds,” he added.
However, Dr Hassan said they don’t get it because all ICU beds are occupied. ”The situation is same in other hospitals where patients are struggling to get ICU beds. With resurgence of COVID-19, hospitals have run out of ICU beds,” he said.
He said lack of ICU beds is turning into nightmare, with critically ill patients kept in general wards on regular beds. ”Early transfer of severe cases to intensive care is key to help improve outcome of Corona patients. How fast intensive care is given to them determines whether they survive or not,” he said.
”The constant surge in cases has meant that demand for ICU beds for Covid patients has increased. Every day we have over a thousand new cases of Covid-19 infections. About 3 per cent of them get critically sick and require intensive care. The next few weeks could be challenging as cases are expected to rise further because enough people are still susceptible to the virus,” Dr Hassan said.
He said the situation can be kept under control if vaccine is opened up for more people and Covid-19 protocols are strictly adhered to.