While emergency at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) remains 200% occupied, little attention is being given to ensure adequate supply of essential drugs, gloves and other items required to start the treatment.
A visit to the emergency and advanced trauma centre (ATC) revealed multiple problems faced by the resident doctors while treating patients.
“Every other day, there is a shortage of life-saving-drugs, common antibiotics, gloves, syringes, cannula, inotropes at the emergency. We write to the department, but they send very limited supply of items which does not last for more than two days,” complains a resident doctor on duty at the emergency OPD.
Patients are at the suffering end as the doctors cannot start the treatment until they have the basic drugs.
“At times, shortage of these items delays the treatment. We have to ask the attendants to get the gloves and basic drugs, and precious time is lost in this. Doctors can not examine the patient without taking precautionary measure,” the doctor said.
Moving ahead to the general surgery OPD (GSOPD), one will find patients lying on trolleys with no monitors to examine their vitals such as blood pressure, pulse rate, oxygen saturation (amount of oxygen in body).
At GSOPD, critical patients are admitted for 3-4 hours before being shifted to operation theatres, intensive care units or wards. “They are admitted as their tests/investigations are being done and it takes up a few hours. It is important to monitor their vitals, but there are no monitors, hence, all the junior residents have to buy their own saturation probes,” said a senior resident.
At the advanced trauma centre, the shortage of ventilators and staff is a major problem. “At any given time, minimum 15 patients can be seen in the need of ventilators and ICU care. But there are limited number of ventilators, thus, for days the attendants have to keep on pumping ambubags,” said a doctor.
Apart from this, a major issue at ATC is of dressing of the patients. “A dressing of any patient needs 15-30 minutes. The doctors are pre-occupied in examining patients and cannot afford extra-time to do the dressings. There is not enough staff for this,” added the resident doctor.
“Ideally, dressing should be changed on daily or alternate days-basis, depending on the case, but here you will find patients who are waiting for their dressing to be changed since more than four days,” he said.
The doctor added, “There is a need of 3-4 staff who can be assigned the duty of dressing of patients.”
When contacted, Manju Wadwalkar, the public relations officer of PGI said, “At PGI, we always fall short of resources because of the huge rush of patients.”