COVID-19: Handiest 93 ventilators for 70 lakh other people in Kashmir

Srinagar, Mar 19: Hospitals in Kashmir are grappling with an acute shortage of ventilators amid coronavirus threat.

The shortage could prove critical, as COVID-19 causes respiratory failure in which patients require ventilator support.

In the face of this potentially-crippling infrastructure gap, the administration of Jammu and Kashmir claims to have put adequate measures in place.

A reality check, however, revealed that there are only 93 ventilators in healthcare institutes across the valley, which is drastically less compared to the requirement of 1000.

In SMHS Hospital, there are around four ventilators in the medical intensive care unit, and eight in surgical intensive care unit.

In Government Super Specialty Hospital, Shireen Bagh, there are four ventilators in surgical intensive care unit, and two in the cardiology intensive care unit.

In Chest Diseases Hospital, Srinagar, there are around three ventilators in HIN1 intensive care unit.

In Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura, total number of ventilators are 40. There are four ventilators in the pediatric intensive care unit, five in neo-natal intensive care unit, three in cardiovascular thoracic surgery, and one in flu isolation ward.

In GB Pant Hospital, Sonwar, there are 11 ventilators in the neonatal intensive care unit and three are on standby, also there are 8 ventilators at pediatric intensive care unit.

In Bone and Joints Hospital, Barzulla, there are only two ventilators.

In JVC, Bemina, there are three functional ventilators and five new ventilators are yet to be used. Further, there are four ventilators in the pediatric intensive care unit.

While Government Medical College Baramulla has no ventilator, Government Medical College Anantnag has two ventilators but they are not functional.

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A senior doctor at SMHS Hospital said the hospitals are facing an acute shortage of ventilators.

“We cannot move the coronavirus patients directly to the intensive care units as this will affect other patients admitted in ICU,” he said.

The medico noted that increasing the number of ventilators in isolation wards is the need of the hour.

Principal, Government Medical College, Srinagar, Dr. Samia Rashid, admitted that there is a shortage of ventilators in the associated hospitals.

“We have sent a requisition letter to the authorities and asked for 30 new ventilators,” Dr Samia said. 

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