POST TIME: 8 December, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Barishal Sher-E-Bangla Medical College Hospital
ICU needs emergency care
Murad Ahmed, Barishal

ICU needs emergency care

An attendant waits in front of ICU at SBMCH. The photo was taken recently. Independent photo

Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Barishal Sher E Bangla Medical College Hospital (SBMCH) needs emergency care as most of the apparatus have gone of order. On top of that, there is a serious manpower crisis here for the past three months. As a result, most of the patients in need of emergency care are being referred to Dhaka for better treatment. A visit to the 16-bed ICU unit revealed that only three patients were receiving treatment.

Of sixteen beds at the unit, six were normal beds and ten beds were equipped with ventilation support. However, nine out of ten ventilation machines were out of order for the last three to 12 months. So, only patients who were not in a position to seek better treatment in any other modern hospital remained here, sources said.

Dr Najmul Ahsan, the only doctor out of ten, was found to be on duty at the ward during the visit. He said the ICU had no equipment needed to provide emergency medical care, as most of the installed gadgets were out of order.

The ICU unit urgently needs at least 8–10 physicians, 16–20 nurses, 16 ventilation machines for 16 beds, dialyses machines, portable X-Ray machines, electrotrade and ABG examination facilities. “But except for only one ventilation unit, no other services are available. So we can only admit 2–3 patients at a time and refer other serious patients to Dhaka for better treatment,” he


Sahnaz Parvin, the unit’s nursing in-charge, said the unit opened on July 23, 2017 with only one physician looking after the unit from the beginning. She said the hospital authorities were about the requirements, but no steps had been taken yet.

Anjumanara Begum, 65, who suffered a brain stroke, was sent to Dhaka last month, said Alimuzzaman, the patient’s husband, as the ICU unit of the SBMCH was facing an acute shortage of attending physicians and essential apparatus.

Shambhu Nath Shil, a medical attendant, said, “Two days ago, I admitted my mother-in-law to this unit, but she succumbed here.”

“I did not have the ability to send her to Dhaka for better treatment,” he added. Anowar Zahid, a health rights activist, said: “We want rapid action to ensure the full functioning of the ICU unit at SBMCH. In case of emergency, we are unable to rush patients to Dhaka for better treatment. That requires a lot of money, transport, and time.”

Dr Bakir Hosaain, director, SBMCH, said, “We put the matter before the meeting with the secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare at Dhaka on November 27 this year and applied for the approval of ten ventilation unit, including five from our own funds and five from the ministry. But we are still waiting for the final decision.”

Consumer Association of Bangladesh’s Barishal Unit leader Ranjit Dutta said, “We want a fully functional, well-equipped, full-fledged ICU unit at SBMCH as soon as possible.”