Gutted over a year ago, operation theatre at RML yet to start functioning as surgeries pile up
Even if surgeries are shifted to other OTs, the locking up of four tables creates a backlog of roughly 150 surgeries in a month.delhi Updated: Oct 21, 2017 22:57 IST
More than a year after it was gutted in a fire caused by a short-circuit in August 2016, an operation theatre (OT) with four operating tables at Delhi’s premier government-run Dr Ram Manohar Lohia hospital is yet to be fixed.
These four are among the total 18 operating tables in the hospital.
“It will take at least another month for the OT to become operational. Some work still needs to be done. The gas pipelines are yet to be repaired. It will become operational with an additional table. It has been modified to accommodate five tables,” said Dr VK Tiwari, medical superintendent of the hospital.
At RML, the waiting period for planned surgeries ranges from one to four months, depending on the speciality.
Gynaecology and gastroenterology surgeries have shorter waits but getting a date for urology and general surgery can take three to four months.
On an average, five to six surgeries can be done in each operating table every day, including emergency operations.
Even if surgeries are shifted to other OTs, the locking up of four tables creates a backlog of roughly 150 surgeries in a month.
“Depending on the length and complexity of the surgeries, sometimes even up to eight surgeries can be done on a table. Without the four tables, each department loses out on one OT day in a week,” said a doctor from the hospital, on condition of anonymity.
“There are three OT tables in the new emergency block of the hospital. These were built to reduce the load on the other OTs, but could not be run due to the want of staff. So, for the last one year, the surgeries have been diverted to these tables,” said another doctor, on condition of anonymity.
“Once the OT is ready we will hire more staff to keep all the OTs running parallel. This will reduce the patient load and we hope to bring down the waiting period to a maximum of a month for complex, planned surgeries,” said Dr Tiwari.
The operation theatres in the new emergency block are not equipped for laparoscopic surgeries. “Also, one of the OTs in the new emergency block was dedicated for minor procedures. Now, we have to accommodate these procedures after the major surgeries within the allotted time. And, many times we have to send patients home,” the doctor said.