IT MAY be a question of life and death but King George’s Medical University (KGMU) Trauma Centre bosses find the decision quick and easy to take: Henceforth, the brain dead will not be put on ventilator on priority but patients with hope of faster recovery will be chosen to be provided the facility.
A decision in this regard was taken today and a circular was issued to the Works Division at the Ventilatory Unit. The circular stated that the Department of Anaesthesia would only look after the functioning of the ventilator and the respiratory system of the patient put on ventilator.
The consultant doctors and his team should manage the other clinical treatment of the person on ventilator to help recovery from organ failure. The decision about the admission of the patient to the ventilator unit would henceforth, be taken by the doctors from the Department of Anaesthesia only.
The new guidelines apparently aim to reduce the load of patients on the four ventilators the Trauma Centre possesses. Keeping the brain dead could ‘hold up’ the ventilator for a longer period thereby, affecting cases of trauma patients being admitted every day.
“It has been decided that those patient who can recover in a day or two by being kept on the ventilator should be given preference,” said the Trauma Centre in-charge Dr AA Mahdi.
This would also check altercations between doctors and attendants. In the past several such incidents have occurred when brain dead patients had been kept on ventilator for long and after the patient’s death, the attendants refused to pay the charges. Such incidents have, in the past, also required police intervention.