Kathmandu hospitals stretched to their limits

Kathmandu hospitals stretched to their limits

KATHMANDU - Health facilities and health workers in the Capital are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the growing number of patients suffering serious traumatic injuries sustained in Saturday's earthquake.

A majority of these patients are from the neighbouring districts of Kathmandu, including Sindhupalchok, Nuwakot, Dhading and Rasuwa.

Officials said most of the patients have sustained head wounds, fractured bones, joint dislocation, spinal injuries and bladder ruptures.

Doctors at major hospital s inside Kathmandu Valley fear that the treatment of patients might be affected with the stock of medicine and medical kits depleting.

"The hospital is already overwhelmed by patients while people from outside the Valley continue to surge by the day," said Dr Swoyam Prasad Pandit, director of Bir Hospital.

The existing resources and staff at Bir Hospital and Trauma Centre could treat up to 200 trauma patients at a time. Both the facilities have been stretched to their limits.

"We have mobilised over 50 doctors and 250 medics. We are likely to run out of medicines and medical kits soon," said Dr Pandit. "We don't need money. Just send us good equipment and kits."

Similar is the situation at the Maharajgunj-based Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH). As there are no beds or space available at the Emergency Department, quake victims are being treated in other departments, where over 300 patients are already undergoing treatment.

"Our main emergency department has the capacity of 70 patients. Here we have already admitted 80 patients and they require serious medical attention," said Dr Deepak Mahara, director of TUTH.

The patients in TUTH are also treated in other buildings of the hospital , including the BP Koirala Lions Centre for Ophthalmic Studies and the ENT building.

Dr Mahara said they have deployed enough human resources of over 500 health personnel including doctors and nursing staff.

Given the huge surge in the number of patients, the stock of medicine is running out while plasters, splints and antibiotics are almost over, said Dr Mahara.

The major health centres catering to the need of public in Kavre and Sidhupalchok districts are also running out of medicine and other medical kits.

Dhulikel Hospital, one of the major centres in Kavre, said the stocks of medicines including antibiotics are running out while medical goods such as bandage, gauges and injections are also almost over.

"We have already invested a huge amount in the treatment of people. We need immediate support from the government to get going on with the task," said Dr Rajendra Koju.

He said they have treated over 700 people so far while 60 major and 200 minor surgeries were conducted to the victims from Kavre, Sindhupalchok, Sindhuli, Bhaktapur and even Kathmandu.

The Ministry of Health and Population said they will soon send the required medical assistance to all these hospital s and districts while international medical teams have already been dispatched.

A Chinese medical team with 60-member has been dispatched to Dhulikhel while a medical team from United Kingdom has been sent to Sindhupalchok and other medical team from India has been sent to Gorkha.

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