RML hospital functions with just one emergency operation theatre | delhi | Hindustan Times
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RML hospital functions with just one emergency operation theatre

One emergency operation theatre at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital is used for surgeries by four critical departments -- general surgery, gynecology, pediatrics and ENT -- as a result of which patients with medical emergencies are being turned away every day.

delhi Updated: Jul 04, 2015 23:17 IST
HT Correspondent

One emergency operation theatre at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital is used for surgeries by four critical departments -- general surgery, gynecology, pediatrics and ENT -- as a result of which patients with medical emergencies are being turned away every day.

“We cannot even refer them to another hospital. RML is not supposed to refer a patient unless it is a super-specialty case,” a final-year resident doctor said.

Haricharan, 60, has been waiting with his wife Vidya, 55, for almost a week in the emergency ward. Her belly is swollen and she is in severe pain. She has a life-threatening condition, but has not received surgery as the operation theatre (OT) is not free, said a doctor who chose to remain anonymous.

There are six general surgery teams, three gynaecology teams, two paediatric teams and two ENT teams in the hospital. “The emergency OT is available for the general surgery teams through the day. But gynecology, pediatric and ENT patient are given preference,” the resident doctor added.

At times, patients are moved out of the emergency OT to accommodate paediatric and gynaecology patients. “Once when I was on emergency duty, a patient with a stab-wound came and we had to move him out of the OT because a woman in labour came and had to be attended to. The wounded patient had to wait outside,” he said.

“We have four emergency OTs -- one each for orthopedic, nuerology, general surgery and gynaecology departments. We post cases in general OT only if no surgeries are happening there. If there are more patients, we just move them to the regular OTs,” Dr AK Gadpayle, medical superintendent of RML hospital, said.

Refuting these claims, the resident doctor said, “There is one gynecology OT on the ground floor. But it is not equipped to deal with emergency cases, because one aesthetician and an OT team are shared by general surgery and gynaec departments. How will the OTs run simultaneously without adequate staff?”

The logjam leads to contaminated environment and poor patient care. After every operation, the OT is supposed to be fumigated to prevent infection. “There are times when the next patient is waiting in great distress. In such cases, how can you wait for the staff to clean the OT?” another doctor added.