St George and Sir JJ Hospitals to get new ventilators in 15 days, says Mumbai guardian ministerUpdated: Jun 30, 2020 01:24 IST
A month after 81 ventilators donated to St George Hospital and Sir JJ Hospital were found to be of substandard quality, city’s guardian minister Aslam Shaikh said the two hospitals will get new, upgraded ventilators in 15 days.
Shaikh said the existing ventilators will be taken back by the company which manufactured them. “The machines have not been up to the mark and will now be replaced with upgraded ones. I am not sure if the two hospitals will get the same number of ventilators [St George Hospital had received 39 ventilators, while Sir JJ Hospital received 42], but that will be worked out soon. The upgraded versions will arrive in the next 15 days.”
A short while after the ventilators were donated, the two hospitals realised that the patients put on the machines did not show any signs of improvement. Following this, Sir JJ Hospital wrote to Dr TP Lahane, the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER).
“The machine is not able to give 100 percent FiO2 and when patients were put on other ventilator, they showed immediate signs of improvement in O2 saturation, respiratory rate and patient compliance. We are of the opinion that these ventilators cannot cater to the critical care of Covid patients,” stated Sir JJ Hospital’s letter, a copy of which is with HT.
While Dr Lahane was unavailable for comment, Sir JJ Hospital’s dean, Dr Ranjit Mankeshkar, said, “We had never asked for the ventilators. One of the NGOs had donated them. We have been sending them back as they are lying unused. Also, we are not in a dire need of ventilators, as we have 98 currently, which are sufficient for now.”
As per BMC’s data released on Sunday, 32 of 775 the ventilators in the civic facilities are currently not in use. A senior health official said, “We are not facing a shortage of these equipment at our facilities. There are ventilators that are vacant and the total capacity will keep on increasing.”
Almost 5% of Covid-19 patients need to be put on a ventilator when they fail to inhale oxygen on their own. Then the patient is incubated and artificially, oxygen is pumped into the lungs.
“Oxygen is supplied based on the level of oxygen saturation of a patient. As many patients develop bilateral pneumonia, they fail to breathe on their own. If the oxygen supply and the pressure are inadequate, the patient can die within a few hours of admission,” said Dr Ramesh Bharmal, in-charge of Sion Hospital.