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Negligence in COVID care in Calcutta!

By Sharonya Kundu


A number of doctors and health-care workers as well as nurses are not appropriately monitoring the condition of COVID-19 patients in hospitals in Barrackpore, Khardah, Barasat, Naihati, and Ashoknagar in North 24-Parganas. At some hospitals, patients with low oxygen levels are neglected. No one is regularly checking on patients and adjusting the flow of oxygen even when the saturation level is adequate. The doctors are not checking the X-ray reports of patients with a chest infection.

Experts visited at least six COVID-19 hospitals in North 24-Parganas, including a few private ones the government has procured to cure people suffering from the COVID-19 disease, to check the condition of the patients. The district has registered an increase in the number of positive cases in Calcutta. A nonchalant attitude among doctors and health-care workers was noticed while monitoring COVID-19 patients, most of whom were admitted with mild symptoms. At a private hospital in Barrackpore, a patient was found lying unattended with 33 percent oxygen saturation, and the pipe that supplies oxygen at high flow to patients with a low saturation level was found lying outside the nostrils.

In some ICUs, patients were given 20 liters, 25 liters, and 30 liters of oxygen every day even though their oxygen saturation level was 98 or 99 percent. Doctors and nurses are not bothered to check on the patients. Junior doctors at some hospitals were found not interpreting ECG and X-ray reports well, resulting in a delay in evaluating the health of patients. They have enough doctors but there is a lack of unending monitoring. The doctors and health-care workers at these hospitals are provided with all necessary types of equipment and all they would have to do was regularly visit the patients and monitor their health.

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