SKMCH Converts Wards Meant For Prisoners Into ICU To Accommodate Rising Number AES Patient


New Delhi: Even as the death toll from the brain fever reached 135 in the state on June 20, authorities at the government-run Shri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur have converted wards meant for prisoners into an intensive care unit (ICU) to accommodate the rising number of children affected by Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).

The move comes after Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar issued instructions to authorities to create extra space in the hospital after he found that three to four children were being treated on a single bed.

“We have converted the prisoner’s ward into a paediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Further, the administrative office adjacent to the superintendent’s chamber may be shifted somewhere else to make way for another PICU. We have in all 35 beds at the prisoners’ ward where at least 70 children have been accommodated for treatment. Another 78 children are undergoing treatment at the PICU wards, while 75 children afflicted with AES symptoms are undergoing treatment at the general ward,” said Sunil Kr Shahi, hospital superintendent.

Speaking to news agency ANI, Sanjay Kumar Shah, manager of SKMCH, said, at least 19 more beds would be added to the new ICU, which is being created at the prisoners’ ward. “All the necessary arrangements are being done. This ward will become functional shortly,” Shah added.

The superintendent said that there are 14 children under observation, whose condition is critical. Leaves of nurses have been cancelled and armed police personnel have been deployed outside the administrative buildings to regulate the rush of people and the patients’ attendants.

Municipal corporation staff have been pressed into service to keep the campus clean and hygienic, he said. According to official data, 85 deaths have been reported from Muzaffarpur till 4 pm on Thursday, followed by 18 from East Champaran, 15 from Vaishali, eight from Sitamarhi, two each from Samastipur, West Champaran and Sheohar, one each from Patna, Bhojpur and Jehanabad districts.

Meanwhile, the State Health Society, a wing of the health department, on Tuesday asked for more doctors from Darbhanga, Supaul, Madhubani, Samastipur and Sitamarhi districts to handle the crisis in Muzaffarpur.


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