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Mounting Pressure of Dengue in Delhi Hospitals

Many hospitals in Delhi appear to be crumbling under the mounting pressure of dengue. Safdarjung Hospital reported a severe shortage of blood platelets// with several patients being referred to AIIMS and the Red Cross. The situation has reached a stage wherein many patients are given platelets only on the condition of their relatives or friends willing to donate blood in exchange for the required platelets. Dr Santosh at the Dengue Ward said, “Many patients have left because they could not arrange for blood.” With the labs being overburdened by numerous tests, reports are also getting delayed. There are around 75 patients admitted in the dengue ward with severe shortage of beds. Most patients can be seen sharing beds or sleeping on floor. Government hospitals like GTB hospital are reporting a shortage of doctors to treat patients. Patients who complain are often reprimanded and told to go to private hospitals instead. “We are trying our level best but we are hard pressed given the inflow of patients,” said Dr LC Thakur, Medical Superintendent. The LNJP hospital still has no separate ward for dengue patients in spite of the fact that over 600 dengue cases have been registered in the hospital so far with over 80 cases reported in the last three days. In the adjacent GB Pant Hospital, no regular dengue patients are being admitted. “There are some cases of fever in the hospital that are generally confused with dengue. But, no patient of dengue has been treated here,” said a senior doctor. At Batra Hospital an average of three to five suspected dengue cases are admitted daily. “Many patients come in with low blood platelet count believing they suffer from dengue, when they actually do not,” said Dr Vivek Nangia, one of the in charge at the dengue ward. He claims that there is confusion among patients as platelet count can be low during other viral diseases like malaria. The ESI hospital has taken in eight suspected cases although it lacks basic facilities lik e an ICU, because of which they “do not admit serious dengue cases,” said Savita Manchanda, deputy Medical Superintendent, Nurses. Dr Hardiyal Singh, Medical Superintendent of ESI said, “Routine surgery cases are being postponed to make space for dengue patients.” GM MODI has already treated twenty patients, besides which around four to five patients with dengue symptoms are seen there daily. However the hospital does not have a blood bank. “We need to tie up with blood banks and hospitals before admitting patients,” said Dr Vinay Lazarus, Director of Administration.

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