Docs raise serious questions over quality of hospital ICU

Published On: July 9, 2016 12:00 AM NPT By: Arjun Poudel

KATHMANDU, July 9: NC General Secretary Dr Shashank Koirala, was rushed to Om Hospital after he complained of abdominal pain and breathing difficulties on Tuesday evening. Doctors at the hospital, however, noticed how critical he was only on Wednesday morning when he became unconscious.

At the time his heart had already stopped beating, the oxygen level was at a critical low, the pulse rate was down to a dangerous level as well and the aspiration pneumonia from which he was suffering was 'leading to septic shock and multi-organ dysfunction'. His condition had deteriorated so much that doctors were afraid to send him to Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) so that he could go  abroad for further medication. He had to be kept on ventilator support and administered  vasopressor (an agent used to raise the blood pressure) and inotropic (that changes the force of the heart's contractions).

But the hospital administration and the doctors are clueless just when Koirala's condition deteriorated. This case has raised serious questions over the quality of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Om hospital. The doctors have voiced serious concern and spoken about sheer negligence on the part of the hospital authorities. "Photos [appearing in the media] show that the monitor placed above the ICU bed does not work, It does not show the vital signs," Dr Ramesh Koirala of Sahid Gangalal Heart Center said, adding, "If you show the photos of the monitor, doctors would say the patient is no more."

Dr Koirala said that several anomaliies can be noticed if one looks closely at the ICU service at the hospital. According to him, the monitors at the ICU are not working properly. The fact that Koirala's deteriorating condition was noticed only in the morning means the ICU monitor did not work. The patient was taken to hospital Tuesday evening but the hospital administration just admit him to the ICU and did not examin his  condition. That means doctors were not available there at the movement.  "We can see sheer negligence on the part of the hospital," said Dr Koirala.

Moreover, the nurses at the ICU did not pay much attention to the patient.  "Had the nurses deployed at the  ICU paid proper attention, they would  have noticed his deteriorating health earlier and called for the doctor," claimed Dr Koirala.

Several social media activists including medical doctors have raised serious concern over the neglected in ICU services.

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