JAMMU, Aug 4: As several experts across the country have predicted that the third wave of COVID-19 is expected to impact children the most, hospitals in Jammu are also being prepared to deal with COVID and post-COVID complications in children and steps are underway to augment pediatric ICU facilities, oxygen beds, ventilators and other monitoring equipment which would be required for providing any additional treatment or care to minors.
Official sources told Excelsior that Jammu and Kashmir administration has started augmenting its health and medical care infrastructure with adequate facilities with special focus on pregnant women and children. They said that special wards are being readied at Shri Maharaja Gulab Singh (SMGS) Hospital in Jammu and Mother and Child Hospital in Gandhi Nagar. Besides this, they said, special directions have been issued to set up Pediatric Intensive Care Units (ICUs) in all district hospitals and the Government has also constituted a task force to initiate these facilities in a fixed time frame.
Elaborating more, they said in SMGS Hospital which caters to whole Jammu region, a 20-bedded Pediatric COVID-ICU is being established in Ward Number 19, which has total 46 beds. Other 43 beds of the Ward are being equipped with facilities equivalent to High Dependency Unit, they added.
“While Pediatric Ward Number 18 was already equipped with central air-conditioning system, other Pediatric wards viz Ward 19, 20 and 21 are also being equipped with air-conditioned system,” sources said, adding, the oxygen facility has been enhanced to 350 additional beds in the 750-bedded Hospital, which at present have only 250 beds with oxygen facility.
Medical Superintendent of SMGS Hospital, when contacted, revealed that with a project worth Rs 2.40 crore, the oxygen facility is being enhanced in all 750 beds in the Hospital. “The oxygen generating capacity of the Hospital is being enhanced from 500 LPM to over 4500 LPM,” he said, adding, a 15-bedded COVID ICU is also being established in Gyane Ward for pregnant women. He further informed that for a 6-bedded ICU is being created in ENT Ward of the Hospital.
Giving details about the preparation regarding COVID 3rd wave, Medical Superintendent, MCH Gandhi Nagar (fully dedicated COVID Hospital) Dr Arun Sharma said that the bed capacity of the Hospital have been enhanced from 140 to 200 and all are being equipped with oxygen facility. He said to strengthen the oxygen facility in the Hospital, 2 oxygen plants of 1000 LPM capacity each have been installed and installation of one more of the same capacity is in pipeline.
“Moreover, a 20-bedded Pediatric as well as Gynae ICU have already been established and 3rd and 4th floor are being made fully air-conditioned,” he said, adding, 4 operation theatres are fully functional in the Hospital for surgeries of COVID affected patients including children and pregnant women.