The oxygen crisis in district hospitals is now over, but the increasing number of Covid-19 patients has created a shortage of doctors and health workers in many of the facilities.
These hospitals are struggling to cope with the overwhelming pressure of patients despite increasing the number of beds.
Within a week, the number of Covid-19 patients and deaths in the country increased by 51% and 46% respectively.
A record 46 people died on Sunday in the Khulna division, the new coronavirus hotspot in the country. The number of patients is also increasing there.
Khulna: oxygen crisis solved, patients increasing
Although the pressure of patients in Khulna hospitals continued to increase on Sunday, the oxygen crisis has been resolved.
The crisis of oxygen cylinders escalated in the hospitals over the past two weeks along with the increase in coronavirus infections, but now it has been resolved.
On Sunday, Khulna Medical College Hospital had 197 patients against 130 beds allotted for Covid-19 patients. Among the 130 beds, 77 have a central oxygen system. The rest of the patients relied on oxygen cylinders.
Focal person of the hospital Suhas Ranjan Haldar said despite the patient pressure, there is no oxygen crisis in the hospital at present. The hospital has 53 high flow nasal cannulas.
Corona unit spokesperson of Khulna General Hospital Kazi Abu Rashed said the 60-bed corona unit of the hospital has been upgraded to 80 beds from Sunday. There is no oxygen crisis in the hospital.
In Shaheed Sheikh Abu Naser Specialised Hospital, there are 45 beds including 10 ICU beds. On Sunday, there were 28 Covid patients in the hospital.
Corona unit spokesperson of the hospital Dr Prakashchandra Devnath said they have no oxygen crisis in their hospital as they have a central oxygen system. "We have a liquid oxygen plant also."
Dr Gazi Mizanur Rahman, owner of Gazi Medical Hospital, said their hospital had an oxygen crisis last week, but now the issue has been resolved. We have nine high-flow nasal cannulas.
Satkhira: increasing patients trigger health worker crisis
Satkhira Medical College Hospital had 270 patients against its 250 beds allotted for Covid patients. There is a crisis of health workers including doctors and nurses in the hospital.
Caretaker of the hospital Kudrat-e-Khuda said the number of beds for corona patients has been increased from 90 to 250, but the number of patients is even higher. As the manpower is less than required, the doctors, nurses and ward boys are struggling to provide treatment.
He said the 18-unit hospital needs 58 doctors, but there are 31 doctors. Besides, 50 sweepers, 50 nurses and 50 ward boys are required. The matter has been reported to the higher authorities.
On 30 June, several patients died at the hospital due to lack of oxygen. Dr Kudrat-e-Khuda said that there was enough oxygen but the pressure was faulty. Due to this, four dying patients died. It happened due to a technical glitch. An investigation is underway to find out what caused the oxygen pressure drop.
At present there is no oxygen crisis in Satkhira Medical College Hospital but there is a high flow nasal cannula crisis. At present, there are 20,000 units of oxygen in the central oxygen line. From there oxygen is being supplied to the patients.
Rajshahi: 70 new patients on average every day
In the face of an increasing number of patients, the number of beds with central oxygen line for Covid patients at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital has been increased from 405 to 455.
Director of the hospital Brigadier General Dr Shamim Yazdani said there is no oxygen crisis in their hospital. Although the hospital needs 6,000 litres of oxygen per day, we have a supply of 10,000 litres.
In addition, a tank of 14,000 litres of oxygen has been kept as a reserve on a vehicle. There are 1,122 oxygen cylinders and 233 oxygen consulators. There are also 69 high-flow nasal cannulas.
Dr Yazdani said that if 70 new patients on an average are admitted to the hospital every day, no matter what the preparation is, it would surely break down.
Bogura: Private initiative supplies medical equipment to govt hospitals
High flow nasal cannulas have been given to two Covid-dedicated government hospitals in Bogura through private initiative after reports surfaced in the media that several patients had died due to lack of supply of high levels of oxygen.
Doctors of the hospitals said there will be no problem in treating patients now. The supply of high flow nasal cannulas will reduce critical patient mortality.
On Friday, 13 people died in Bogura due to lack of oxygen, triggering criticism all over the country. S Alam Group donated 10 high flow nasal cannulas to Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital and 10 to Bogura Mohammad Ali Hospital on Saturday.
Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital had 12 high flow nasal cannulas earlier. On Saturday, 10 high flow nasal cannulas were donated from S Alam Group. On Sunday, three high-flow nasal cannulas were delivered to the hospital by North West Power Generation Company and two by SR Travels. The hospital has increased the number of beds for coronavirus patients from 100 to 200.
Abdul Wadud, deputy director of the hospital, said 102 Covid patients were admitted to the hospital on Sunday. Twelve of them have been given high flow oxygen. Patients can now be treated well with the high flow nasal cannula.
Bagerhat: Critical patients sent to Khulna for ICU service
On Sunday, the 50-bed Covid-dedicated Sadar Hospital in Bagerhat had 56 patients. Only 10 doctors and 12 nurses are serving these patients. There is also a crisis of fourth class employees.
The security guard of the hospital is working as a ward boy. To address the manpower crisis, six nurses from Khulna and four additional doctors from different upazilas have been brought in for the treatment of Covid-19 patients. Even then, the hospital authorities are struggling to cope with the pressure of patients.
The hospital has a central oxygen line but no ICU. Critical patients have to be sent to Khulna for ICU.
Bagerhat Civil Surgeon Dr KM Humayun Kabir said an initiative has been taken to increase the number of beds from 50 to 70 as the number of patients increases day by day.
For this, 20 oxygen cylinders have been brought. But if the situation worsens further, it will be difficult for us to provide services. Ordinary people need to be more aware and follow hygiene rules.
DGHS apprehends oxygen crisis if patients increase
Prof Nazmul Islam, spokesperson for the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), on Sunday said there is no crisis in supply of oxygen at present.
He, however, cautioned that if demand rises, then oxygen supply will become a challenge.
"Overall, there is no crisis in oxygen production and supply now. However, if the number of patients increases compared to the supply, a challenge will be created," he said.
Professor Robed Amin, spokesperson of DGHS told The Business Standard, "During the first two waves of the ongoing pandemic, the district hospitals did not have so many patients. Especially in Khulna and Satkhira, the medical system has become exhausted. Bed occupancy rate is 100% in both the districts. There is a shortage of manpower in hospitals there. Work is underway to resolve the manpower crisis."