About 200 patients suffering from COVID-19 and related complications have been treated in the intensive care unit at Gandhi Hospital for three to six months over the past year and a half.
Doctors at the state facility said the 650-bed intensive care unit at Gandhi Hospital is the largest in the country, treating hundreds of patients for extended periods of time. On November 20th a report in The Hindu (Man returns home after half a year in Gandhi Hospital) highlighted the story of a 33-year-old man, M. Suresh Kumar, who was hospitalized for six months.
He received CPAP along with ICD (intercostal drainage) tubes in both lungs for several weeks. At one point he was in sepsis with multiple organ dysfunction and was in a very critical condition. The doctors had to operate on his lungs.
Gandhi Hospital Superintendent Raja Rao M. said patients who were treated for three months or more included people with uncontrolled high blood pressure or diabetes that affects the brain, eyes, kidneys and other organs, and COVID-19 was sick.
“The patients also included those with uncontrolled diabetes, organ dysfunction and then got COVID. Then there were cancer patients who contracted the infection, as well as those with end-stage kidney disease or cirrhosis of the liver who contracted the coronavirus. About 75% of the critical cases fell into this category. The patients who could be supplied with oxygen were not admitted here, ”said Dr. Raja Rao.
COVID patients with pulmonary fibrosis and thromboembolism (clots in blood vessels) were also treated for a long time. Dr. Raja Rao said the death rate in her intensive care units is less than 20% which is the usual rate in any intensive care unit. However, the exact percentage of hospital mortality is not yet known.
The list of patients included people from poor and middle classes. Some of them chose the state hospital after coughing up a large amount in private hospitals. Since the bills for intensive care treatment in corporate hospitals are several lakhs, not everyone can afford them. Private hospitals charge more than 50,000 for intensive care in intensive care units.
Gandhi doctors said that in addition to treatment, patients were given three meals a day, which cost about 270 yen. Since people cannot get out of bed or walk around during treatment in intensive care units, the nurses take care of their needs.