Only K.R. Hospital to treat severe COVID-19 patients

It has 400 beds for COVID-19 patients with centralised oxygen supply, ICU, ventilator beds

• Mild and moderate cases to be confined at the district hospital

• Decision follows strategies to counter mortalities among critical patients with respiratory disorders and other complications, including kidney injuries

• KRH has 400 beds for COVID-19 patients with centralized oxygen supply, ICU and ventilator beds

Shankar Bennur

MYSURU:

COVID-19 patients with mild and moderate symptoms will remain in the designated COVID-19 facility in the District Hospital on KRS Road and all critical cases will be moved to the K.R. Hospital in the city centre for handling those patients who may require other medical interventions and investigations which are currently unavailable in the district hospital.

The decision follows the authorities’ move to overcome deaths of patients with serious complications, including acute kidney injury (ATI). Mysuru’s COVID-19 case fatality rate last year had worried the health authorities who were on their toes to lower the rate.

The 250-bed district hospital was chosen as designated COVID-19 hospital last year since there was no other facility available which could be used for isolating and treating COVID-19 patients. Since the hospital being a new facility used only during COVID-19 crisis and not fully equipped to handle serious cases, a decision was taken to make use of K.R. Hospital’s beds for attending to vulnerable cases, including SARI, ILI and pneumonia.

Mysore Medical College and Research Institute (MMCRI) Director and Dean C.P. Nanjaraj told The Hindu: “We aren’t ready to take any chances. It’s too risky to shift critical patients for CT scan, blood investigations, X-ray, dialysis and so on. Since KRH has all facilities under one roof, we decided to keep serious cases in our hospital and limit milder cases to the district hospital in the interest of patients.”

Dr. Nanjaraj said the hospitals and doctors have learnt many approaches on patient management after having treated the patients since the last one year. “We are now very well prepared to counter the pandemic. It has taught us so many things.”

Thanks to last year’s efforts post-pandemic, KRH is now equipped with a 13 kl liquid oxygen tank providing uninterrupted oxygen supply to beds for patients with respiratory complications. “We have around 400 beds with centralised oxygen supply for treating patients with breathing problems. We also have 50 ventilator beds besides 100 beds with oxygen supply at the trauma care centre on KRS Road for COVID-19 treatment,” the director said.

As of now, KRH has nine serious cases in its ICU. At one point of time last year, there were no ICU beds available to accommodate serious cases with Mysuru reporting the second highest number of cases after Bengaluru.

Dr. Nanjaraj said one portion of the trauma care centre which has been taken over for COVID-19 treatment, is being used for vaccination and the remaining half can be used to accommodate mild and moderate patients, which will be done from this year onwards.

Meanwhile, the Principal Secretary, Health, had a video conference with the MMCRI authorities on the preparations to be made and precautions to be taken to counter the second wave.

With the government telling the districts to be on alert for the next 50 days with the beginning of the second peak, the district administration and the district health authorities have geared up for yet another major combat against the pandemic.

“The situation may not be as tough like it was last year. The severity of the infection could be less compared to last year but the cases could be more. The severity in vaccinated persons could be milder. Keeping all these opinions, we can say that the COVID-19 management may not be as challenging like it was last year,” Dr. Nanjaraj said, adding that steps have also been taken for procuring and storing necessary drugs.

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