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LNJP: Separate wards, ICU beds: How suspected patients are treated at Covid hospitals


New Delhi: Patients exhibiting major symptoms of COVID-19 but not confirmed to have the infection are being admitted to dedicated facilities here but their treatment is done in a segregated zone until their test results come out, doctors have said.

Initially, there were reports that dedicated facilities were allegedly not allowing suspected COVID-19 patients but later the government asked hospitals to attend to them as well.

From LNJP, the first Delhi government-run hospital to be declared a dedicated COVID-19 facility, to GTB Hospital in east Delhi, serious suspected patients are immediately wheeled into an ICU.

However, the suspected coronavirus patients are kept in a separate ward seat from the main COVID-19 ward as they may or may not have the infection, Medical Director, LNJP Hospital, Dr Suresh Kumar said.

“The moment a serious patient with symptoms is brought into our facility, he or she is immediately taken into the ICU for oxygen support or ventilator support as needed, even if the case is not confirmed,” he said.

“We run a test on these suspected patients and keep them in that separate area till the results come out. If they come out as COVID positive, we move them to corona ward and if negative, we try to stabilise them so they can be shifted to non-COVID facilities,” he said.

The LNJP Hospital has 2,000 beds for coronavirus patients and 380 of them were occupied till Tuesday evening. Eighty-eight of the 380 patients were in the ICU and two on ventilators.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said the LNJP Hospital reported no fatality on July 27. According to doctors at the hospital, this has happened for the first time at the facility in the last couple of months.

The hospital medical director attributed this to “extensive ICU care, plasma bank facility, top heathcare facilities and dedication of doctors and other heathcare workers”

Authorities are following the same protocol at other city government-run facilities, the GTB Hospital and Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, both in east Delhi.

“Our hospital is old, so we have ICUs divided into separate rooms, some with six beds, others with nine. And we ensure the suspected patients, whether in wards or ICU, are segregated from the main ward so they don’t run the risk of contracting infection from COVID patients,” GTB Hospital Medical Director Dr Rajesh Rautela said.

Till Tuesday, 83 COVID patients were admitted to GTB Hospital. Of the total 100 ICU beds at the facility, only 20 were occupied, the doctor said.

“One patient is intubated with ventilator support, six on non-invasive ventilator support and rest 13 on high-level oxygen supply,” he said.

Seeking to reduce COVID-19 deaths, authorities had recently directed dedicated coronavirus hospitals to ensure there is “absolutely no delay” in transferring a serious patient from triage area to an ICU.

As per the latest protocol, even suspected COVID-19 patients who are in serious condition are to be given immediate medical attention as required when brought to dedicated facilities.

Delhi recorded 1,056 fresh coronavirus cases on Tuesday, taking the tally in the city to over 1.32 lakh, while the death toll from the disease climbed to 3,881, authorities said.

The number of active COVID-19 cases on Tuesday was 10,887, down from 10,994 the previous day.

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