22November2017

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Ventilators gathering dust in Delhi's Lok Nayak Hospital

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 BS RAWAT
NEW DELHI: A small fortune of tax money has been spent on buying the ventilators, but there are insufficient numbers of technicians to operate them.

Expensive life saving machines acquired by the Delhi government for its struggling hospitals have been gathering dust for seven months — forcing hundreds of patients to seek private services — because there are no technicians to operate them.

Of the 35 ventilators delivered to Lok Nayak Hospital in March-2017, ten have been collecting dust in its medicine department and the patients continue to suffer.

Various departments like medicine, neurosurgery and the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) were allocated these ventilators.

Due to non-deployment of the ventilators, patients in the medicine ward on the third floor of the hospital can be seen using ambu-bags - a manual, handheld resuscitation device.

The HOD of medicine in the hospital, Dr RS Ahlawat, admitted that all the ventilators supplied to his department were not in use due to shortage of manpower and said he is helpless.

Requesting anonymity, a senior doctor at Lok Nayak Hospital told DTMT, "Earlier, we were lacking ventilators at our hospital. But now when we have this medical equipment available here, hospital authorities are short of trained professionals to use them."

He said, “The hospital has only two technicians to handle these 35 ventilators while the required number of technicians is ten.”

The nursing staff complained that treating patients had become difficult due to non availability of the machines. Due to this, the patients were forced to use ambu-bags manually to assist them in breathing.

"The ventilators are installed in the medicine ICU but still not in use," a senior doctor from the hospital told DTMT.

Although the Delhi government has operationalized 125 new life saving machines at most of its hospitals, shortage of trained professionals to operate these machines has put the hospital authorities in a fix at a time when there is a massive demand from needy patients.

Ventilators are life-supporting medical equipment for critically ill patients by which they can breathe.

This life saving facility costs enormous amount of money at private hospitals. These life saving machines worth Rupees six core were bought by the city government.

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