Non-COVID critically sick patients suffer as GMC’s Emergency OT non-functional for last 3-days

MSs, Dy MSs remain unavailable

SSH Cath Lab made functional after 5 days

Govind Sharma
JAMMU, Sept 15: The non-COVID patients in need of emergency procedures are suffering badly as Operation Theatre (OT) of Emergency Unit of GMC Jammu are not functional for last three days while the Cath Lab of Government Super Speciality Hospital (SSH) was made functional today after a gap of five days.
Official sources told Excelsior that Emergency Operation Theatre of GMC Hospital is not functional for last three days and same was the state of affairs of Emergency Cath Lab of the SSH Jammu. This is major set-back for non-COVID critically sick patients who require various emergency surgeries.
Sources said that OPD has already been restricted by the order of office of Principal GMC Jammu and now patients who require emergency surgeries are being forced to go for treatment at private nursing homes or DMC, PGI or AIIMS in neighbouring Punjab State.
Excelsior received various phone calls from such patients requesting that authorities may be appraised about the failure on the part of GMC Jammu and SSH Hospital. One of the patient from SSH Jammu said that he went this morning to Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent’s office to know the status of the Cath lab but he was told by a Nursing Orderly that they have gone outside.
Sources informed that Emergency OT of GMC Jammu has stopped because of no oxygen supply as the same has been diverted towards the COVID Wards of the Hospital. They said that nearly eight patients who were in need of emergency services had been referred in last two days, creating lot of inconvenience to them, adding cost and putting threat to precious lives.
“Though the external oxygen cylinders have been mobilized in Emergency Operation Theatres since yesterday night as a temporary arrangement, but sources said if some exigency like border firing happens, it will be catastrophic at GMC Jammu will not be able to handle dual burden in the current times,” they added.
As per the sources, only minor emergency operations which could be done under high spinal anaesthesia or local anaesthesia are being performed at present for the last three days at GMC Jammu. “Even few surgeries which actually are ideally performed under general anaesthesia, are being forced to be performed under high spinal anaesthesia, compromising safety of patients. But, major operations demanding general anaesthesia have halted due to non-availability of oxygen supply in Emergency OT area,” they added.
Similarly, sources said that the major Cath Lab procedures like Balloon Angioplasty, Coronary and Left Ventricular Digital Angiography, Coronary Intravascular Ultrasound, Right and Left Heart Catheterization, Rotational Artherectomy, Stent Implantation and Thrombectomy had come to halt since Friday in SSH Jammu as some part of the only Cath Lab in the Jammu region had gone out of order. They however, informed that Lab was today made functional by replacing the faulty part.
Sources further revealed that a very sick patient being found negative for Corona was admitted to non-COVID ICU of GMC Jammu but subsequently the patient turned out to be positive due to which the panic has gripped the staff in Department of Anaesthesia, who are managing non-COVID ICU.
A senior doctor on the condition of anonymity said that the authorities of GMC Jammu are confused and have failed to provide adequate medical facilities to non-COVID patients. He said patients/attendants don’t know whom to approach with the complaint as most of the time, Deputy Medical Superintendents, Medical Superintendents (MSs) and Principal remain unavailable due to burden of additional charges.
He said there are many instances, where an officer is holding more than two additional charges due to which the patient care has been badly affected and many things are being compromised. There is dire need to end this practice of giving additional charge so that one can perform their duties efficiently.
Meanwhile, Dr Arun Sharma, Medical Superintendent, SSH Jammu said that the Cath Lab was today made functional and six procedures were done today in the Cath Lab.