National, Front Page

Dire shortage of ICU beds for virus afflicted

Published : 07 Jun 2020 10:16 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 02:25 PM

The crisis of beds at the intensive care units (ICUs) in hospitals across the country is acute leaving most critical corona patients in a miserable condition.

Many critical patients are dying without any treatment, or even as alleged, due to the limitations, being deprived of the ICU care they need.

The country currently has 399 ICU beds only for the treatment of Corona patients, out of which 50 are out of commission due to mechanical faults and lack of experienced technicians.

There are at least 50 more under VIP quotas and bookings for the rich.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that if even 5 percent of the infected are in critical condition, it would not be possible for Bangladesh to cope with the situation.

Experts say, an average of 2,500 identified patients are being found every day for the past one week. According to the World Health Organization, if 5 percent need ICU, then 125 people need ICU support every day. And in four days more than five hundred will be needed.

But the World Health Organization says about 20 percent need an ICU. In that case the current situation is that they need two and a half to three thousand ICU beds. And if the situation worsens, support may be needed several times more.

According to the information provided by the people concerned, at least 10 people had been reportedly waiting for each ICU bed till yesterday.

Mugda General Hospital Intensive Care Unit Medical Officer, Asadul Majid Noman said that patients with complicated conditions are waiting for beds to be empty. And there are phones that come from outside.

“We have nothing to do. There are also cases where many are dying without an ICU bed,” he added.
Habibur Rahman, Additional Secretary at the Ministry of Health and head of the Corona Media Cell, said the project to make 

ICU beds in all districts of the country has been passed. Work is in progress. It takes some time. Attempts are being made to make full use of all the ICU beds in it. Even so, at least 400 people will get the service. Besides, the process of bringing whatever can be done from abroad is going on.

Former director of the Department of Health, Professor Be-Nazir Ahmed said the ICU deficit is much higher. Now the way is to look after the patients before they get into a critical condition and increase the oxygen supply to the hospitals. Emphasis should be placed on the prevention of bacterial infections. The fewer the patients, the lower the risk.

According to the World Health
Organization, mild symptoms occur in up to 80 percent of corona patients. They do not have to go to a hospital. Of the remaining 20 percent, 15 percent have severe symptoms and have to go to hospital. And the condition of the remaining 5 percent is complicated. They need an ICU bed as well as a ventilator. Many critical patients dying untreated.