DIMAPUR: Not all 100 beds occupied, sufficient oxygen

A view of the Dimapur COVID-19 Hospital. (Morung File Photo)

A view of the Dimapur COVID-19 Hospital. (Morung File Photo)

More wards activated in Dimapur COVID Hospital as caseload rises

Morung Express News
Dimapur | May 8

In the grip of a second wave and Dimapur accounting for more than half of cases reported in Nagaland, a half derelict Dimapur COVID-19 Hospital, along with the citizenry, is clearly feeling the stress.  

Anxiety further heightened on May 7 after a picture of the hospital’s hand-scribbled occupancy dashboard, containing information about the day’s caseload found its way to social media. As deduced from the figures, only two beds in the wards, in a 100-bed hospital, were vacant. It was enough to make the heart skip more beats in an already jittery atmosphere.

However, as per Hospital sources, it was not the case.

The Medical Superintendent (MS) of the COVID Hospital confirmed to The Morung Express on Saturday that 70 beds, which were then activated for COVID, were occupied and there was a reserve of 30 beds.

According to the MS, the 70 beds that were activated initially were occupied, as on May 7, giving the impression that all the 100 beds were occupied.

With caseload increasing, two more wards with 24 beds have been activated, he informed, while adding that the actual patient-count on May 7 was more than the officially activated 70 beds.

As of today, without providing figures, he said that there were a few recoveries freeing up additional beds. Unfortunately, there were also two more deaths.

He said, “Yesterday (May 7), we had 72 or 73 patients. Today, we discharged some patients but unfortunately two also passed away. Currently, we have around 70 admitted.”

ICU and oxygen status
The COVID Hospital, Dimapur has 6 ICU beds with ventilators and 11 High Dependency Units (HDU). All 6 ICU beds were said to be occupied.

On oxygen availability, the MS said that it was sufficient “as of now.” “We have more than 200 B-type cylinders and more than 70 D-type jumbo cylinders,” he said, adding that the Hospital have placed orders for more cylinders.

He also clarified that it would be wrong to assume that oxygen cylinders are only available for patients admitted to the ICU and HDU, adding, “All the wards have oxygen.”  

While the in-house oxygen plant gets assembled, the Hospital sources its oxygen requirement locally from BMA Liquid Air Pvt Ltd, Dimapur.

He informed that the site for the plant has been cleared, power supply ready and only waiting for the machines to be moved into place. “Because the machines are very heavy, we need a special type of crane. The crane was brought from Assam in the morning, today. We cannot say how long it will take but the engineers are on the job.”

Do not delay admission
He further reiterated what medical professionals have been asserting time and again— early admission to hospital before conditions deteriorate or blood oxygen levels drop low.

While stating that early admission would greatly cut the likelihood of ICU/ventilator support, he said, “If the patients report to hospital early then there is greater chance of recovery. Most of the fatalities have been patients, who were brought in with very low oxygen saturation levels.”

According to him, in most cases, patients who have been admitted with low oxygen saturation levels (30-40) have lost the fight, while those admitted with higher saturation levels of around 70-80 respond well to treatment.

“What we have seen with COVID is that if we give high flow oxygen (therapy) they do well.” However, it would depend on how soon the patient seeks medical help.

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