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Shortage of ICU beds causing preventable deaths

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  3 Dec 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Thousands of critically ill & injured patients being turned away

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, Dec 2: There is a critical shortage of intensive care unit beds in hospitals across the State, denying patients intensive care, which health experts say is leading to preventable deaths.

In the last five years, the Guwahati Medical College & Hospital turned away 12,860 patients due to lack of ICU beds. The hospital, touted as a premier government health institute in the region, has 81 ICU beds.

The Intensive Trauma Unit of GMCH, which has eight beds, turned away 2,000 patients. Altogether 2,435 patients were admitted in the unit beds between 2010 and August, 2015. Of them, 1,136 died.

GMCH's Pediatric ICU, which has eight beds, gave admission to 3,410 patients of which 286 died. Similarly, 25,122 patients were admitted in the forty beds of the Neotal unit of which 3,598 died.

The Electronic ICU has thirteen beds. While 3,102 patients were given admission, 2,800 people were turned away.

Some 8,060 patients could not avail admission in the General ICU, which had 12 beds, during the period. Of the 2,880 patients admitted in General ICU, 1,035 died.

As the ICU beds in the GMCH are overstretched, the critically-ill patients have no option but to opt for private hospitals.

Intensive care is believed to be the major source of income for private healthcare providers compared to any other format or method of treatment.

In the city, twenty private hospitals have 253 ICU beds. The total number of ICU beds in private hospitals across the State is 486. The GNRC (Super Market) has 60 beds, followed by downtown (14), Dispur Hospital (30) and Hayat 20.

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