Kerala's ventilator dearth: No machine in Kasaragod govt hospitals, none free in Thrissur

No ventilators at Kasaragod govt hospitals, none free at Thrissur Medical College

Thiruvananthapuram: On Wednesday, Kerala woke up to the shocking news about the death of a 78-year-old COVID-19 patient after being sent back from the Government Medical College in Manjeri because of non-availability of ventilator.

The death of Pathumma, a native of Malappuram district, has exposed the dearth of ventilators in hospitals at a time when the state's fight against COVID-19 is entering a crucial phase.

In the wake of the incident, Malayala Manorama reporters checked the ventilator availability in various district only to reveal some disturbing facts.

Sample this. No government hospital in northernmost Kasaragod district has an intensive care unit (ICU) with ventilator. Though 20 ventilators were provided to various government hospitals, none of these have become operational. Critically-ill patients in need of ventilator support are moved to Kannur. The district also faces a shortage of oxygen cylinders.

Here is the district-wise ventilator availability data:

* The Thrissur Medical College Hospital has 109 ventilators. Hundred of them are currently in use and the remaining nine are dysfunctional. Thus, the hospital cannot provide ventilator support to another critically-ill patient. Wadakkanchery district hospital has one ventilator and two portable ventilators.

* The Kozhikode Medical College Hospital has 154 ventilators and 140 of them are currently in use. Of the remaining 14 ventilators, 10 are dysfunctional. Nine ventilators are available in the Beach Hospital.

* Eleven of the 46 ventilators at the Manjeri Medical College Hospital in Malappuram are in use. The remaining 35 beds with ventilator facilities are also occupied. These patients may need ventilator support if their condition worsens. Nilambur and Tirur district hospitals have one functional ventilator each. The Perinthalmanna district hospital has only one portable ventilator.

No ventilators at Kasaragod govt hospitals, none free at Thrissur Medical College
FILE PHOTO: A medical worker wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) pushes an oxygen cylinder for a patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the casualty ward in Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital, in New Delhi, India July 17, 2020. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/File photo

* In Thiruvananthapuram district, 26 of the 60 ventilators for COVID-19 patients are in use.

* Of the 58 ventilators at the Kollam Government Medical College Hospital and district hospital, only 10 are occupied. The remaining 48 ventilators are available.

* Forty of the 180 ventilators at the Kottayam Medical College Hospital are available. Four are dysfunctional. Twelve of the 17 ventilators at the general hospital are functional.

* Twenty ventilators, including 12 ICU ventilators, are available in Idukki. Even the COVID-infected are not on ventilator support.

* Thirty of the 70 ventilators at the Ernakulam Medical College Hospital are available. Only four of the 18 ventilators at the Ernakulam General Hospital are available. No ventilators at Aluva district hospital and Muvattupuzha general hospital. Most hospitals also face oxygen shortage.

* Only 53 of the 60-odd ventilators at the Pariyaram Government Medical College Hospital at Kannur are functional. Eight of the 23 ventilators for COVID-19 treatment are available. Nine ventilators of the Kannur district hospital and two ventilators of the Anjarakandy COVID first line treatment centres are available.

* Twenty-two of the 25 ventilators at the Palakkad district hospital are available. Ten ventilators are available for non-COVID patients.

* Ten of the 12 ventilators at the Mananthavady district hospital in Wayanad are available.

* At least 58 of the 92 ventilators at the Alappuzha Medical College Hospital are not occupied. Four ventilators are available at the Alappuzha general hospital and three at Haripad General hospital.

* Twelve of the 14 ventilators at the Pathanamathitta general hospital are currently not in use. Seven ventilators of the Kozhencherry district hospital are available. The Konni Medical College is yet to admit patients.

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