PATNA: Elective surgeries have been practically put on hold at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after 14 of the 30 resident doctors and medical student in its anesthesiology department have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last couple of days, said the dean of the institute.
Over 150 hospital employees, which include 70% doctors, have so far contracted the virus, he said.
“Six of our operation theatres (OTs) functioned for routine cases and three-four for emergencies on Friday. As of now, we are not sure how many OTs will function on Monday because three other resident doctors have reported unwell and we are awaiting their Covid-19 test report. We are already short of hands after 14 of our 30 resident doctors and postgraduate students have tested positive for Covid-19,” said professor and head, department of anesthesiology, Dr Umesh Bhadani, also the Dean (academics) of the institute.
The anesthesiology department has 20 post graduate students, 10 senior residents and 12 faculty members in the rank of assistant professor and above. The sanctioned faculty strength in the department is 15.
The institute has a total of 33 fully functional operation theatres, but is able to run a maximum of 15-16 OTs on normal days with the existing workforce in the anesthesiology department. During the pandemic, the number of routine OTs have reduced by more than half, said Dr Bhadani.
“We cannot stop surgeries in the emergency or the obstetrics and gynecology department. So, we are utilising whatever available manpower resources we have to keep the OTs for emergency surgeries operational,” added Dr Bhadani.
The Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), an autonomous institution of the state government, has already stopped elective surgeries.
The AIIMS and the IGIMS have also restricted the number of patients to its outdoor patient departments (OPDs) to 50 a day. The two autonomous institutions of repute in the central and state government sector, respectively, have also introduced telemedicine facility and released phone numbers for OPD consultation.
Prior telephonic and online appointments are mandatory for OPD consultation at AIIMS and the IGIMS.