Mumbai power outage: Civic-run hospitals affected, minor surgeries cancelled
Resident doctors had to examine patients in out-patient departments in personal protective equipment suits in darkness
Health services, especially in civic-run hospitals, were affected as a result of a power outage across the city on Monday morning. Most civic-run hospitals cancelled minor surgeries.
As per medical requirements, hospitals have emergency power backup. All the emergency wards like casualty, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Covid-19 centres did have adequate supply of electricity. However, civic-run hospitals like Lokmanya Tilak General Hospital, also known Sion Hospital, BYL Nair, King Edward Memorial hospitals stopped power supply at their OPDs and general wards. Resident doctors had to examine patients in out-patient departments (OPD) in personal protective equipment (PPE) suits in darkness.
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“We don’t know how long there will be a power shortage. So, we had to stop the supply at OPDs, which don’t require emergency services. But as we had already received a large number of patients, we completed their checkup in the dark with torches and phone lights,” said a resident doctor from Nair Hospital.
Around 12pm, Sion Hospital cancelled a few minor surgeries to avoid unnecessary complications during the procedures. “We have spoken to the electricity department of our hospital which informed us that we have power backup only for two hours. So, we are trying to arrange for more fuel to provide electricity in emergency wards longer,” said a resident doctor from Sion Hospital.
Doctors said working in PPE suits in non-emergency wards was exhausting. “Once we wear the PPE, we can’t remove it until our duty is over. So, we have no option but to continue working in the suit even though the power outage made it worse. We are perspiring profusely in the OPDs but we can’t ask the patients to go away,” said a doctor from KEM hospital.
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However, private hospitals have been less affected by the outage. “Our medical services haven’t been affected in any way. We have a power backup pf upto 12 hours. The OPDs and surgeries are going on smoothly,” said Dr Ravishankar, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Lilavati Hospital. Authorities from Nanavati and Bombay hospitals also assured uninterrupted electricity supply to their staff in all the wards.
Jumbo Covid Care Centres (CCC) in the city have adequate supply of electricity for their ICU beds due to automated power backup.
Taking note of the power cut, IS Chahal, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner, instructed all hospitals to contract transport garages of BMC’s solid waste management department to arrange adequate supply of diesel for the next eight hours to run generators.