For more than 30 patients, who are waiting for their critical ear-nose-throat (ENT) surgeries since March, the wait just got longer.
The ENT Operation Theatre (OT) at Safdarjung Hospital was shut for refurbishing in March this year. And now, the most essential requirement for conducting intricate surgeries, OT lights, have stopped working.
When Hindustan Times highlighted the plight of the patients on August 18, ‘Doctors operate without OT lights’, the administration had moved a single basic top light from another OT but that, doctors say, isn’t enough.
“The authorities had sent the replacement light in the morning of August 19 but that is useless. Specialized OT lights are required for intricate surgeries which we can turn, focus or sharpen according to the surgeon’s need,” said a doctor on condition of anonymity.
“Thyroid surgeries, head and neck cancer surgery, neck dissections, all require specialized OT lights. We are scared of doing basic incisions on patients without proper light,” he added.
Sources in the hospital informed HT that at the time of refurbishing the OTs, the stabilizers connecting the OT lights were stolen. Unless new ones are purchased, the situation will continue to inconvenience patients.
“The patients have to bear the brunt. On an average we perform 3-4 critical surgeries and 6-8 regular surgeries. At the time of refurbishing the administration decided to reduce the two OT tables to one and now the single one has no lights,” said another doctor, wishing to remain anonymous.
“A basic calculation will show how the numbers of surgeries in the ENT department have been reduced to just 25% and hence the ever increasing patient backlog,” he said.
There are more than 200 patients who are still waiting for their turn for surgeries.
“We have got a date for a goitre surgery in December. But this is the fourth time I have been given a date and I am sure I will have to wait still longer,” said Ram Shanker, who has come from Purnia district in Bihar.