ICUs for critically ill Covid-19 patients are provided at Trauma Care Centre, Victoria Hospital and PMSSY Hospital under BMCRI. Two other patients who were not intubated have also died at BMCRI facilities. Intubation is done when patients can’t breathe on their own. A tube is inserted through the mouth into the airways and connected to the ventilator which provides oxygen. Of the 203 patients admitted to ICUs till July 13, 100 have recovered and been discharged. Most of the patients supported with high-flow oxygen in the ICUs have survived.
Doctors said the condition of the patient at the time of admission is what makes the difference. A 37-year-old intubated man with respiratory distress and perforations in appendix was recently operated upon and is showing signs of recovery.
Most patients had low immunity: Doc
He is stable now and does not require respiratory support,” said an fficial.
Explaining the challenges faced in the critical care of Covid-19 patients, Dr Jayanthi CR, director-cum-dean of BMCRI, said there were eight patients in their 70s, 20 in their 60s, 13 in their 50s, nine in their 30s and 40s, and one in the 20s. “Most of these patients had comorbidities like diabetes, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, coronary artery disease, ischemic heart disease, and acute and chronic kidney failure requiring dialysis. A couple of them were also Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C positive. They have low immunity,” the dean said.
She added that some patients may not have stepped out for dialysis for fear of infection. “Six were receiving chemotherapy for various malignancies. Chemotherapy itself is an immunosuppressant and this could be one of the reasons,” said Jayanthi.
The hospital has also seen multiple cases where deaths occurred soon after admission. “Many patients did not survive for even a few hours after admission to our hospital. A majority of these patients suffered from breathlessness,” said Dr Ravi K, HoD of general medicine at BMCRI and a member of the technical committee. “Probably, these patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) should have been recognised early or admitted early and they could have been managed in an ICU. Almost 14-15 patients were brought to the hospital at a critical stage and could not be saved.”
BMCRI authorities said some patients died young. “Eight deaths have occurred in the 31 to 40 age group and three had comorbid conditions like diabetes,” said Jayanthi. “One was brought in with Covid pneumonia and another patient with blood sugar readings above 500. Five of the deaths were due to non-Covid reasons like malignancy, head injury and intracranial bleed.”
Asked about allegations that senior doctors are not visiting ICUs, the BMCRI dean said the ICU is manned by anaesthetists, specialists in medicine, and pulmonologists. “We also do tele-ICU rounds,” she said.