Adequate ventilators for Public, Infectious Diseases hospitals
Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony has said the Government is moving to expand services at the Infectious Diseases Hospital which is currently only treating mild COVID-19 cases.
Guyana received 26 ventilators in recent weeks from PAHO/WHO and the Indian Government.
“The idea is to make sure we have all levels of care here, and with the installation of the ventilators and the setting up of this ICU, we would be able to provide all levels of care that is required for COVID-19 patients,” Dr. Anthony said.
He added the ventilators received are enough to provide care at both the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation and the Infectious Diseases Hospital. Some will also be sent to regional hospitals to expand their capacities to treat COVID-19 cases.
Consultant Emergency Medicine Specialist at the facility, Dr. Tracey Bovell, said the ICU will cater for 27 patients at once. Currently, steel pipes for oxygen and other medical gases are being installed in the ICU.
Dr. Bovell explained that as a patient is triaged, they will go into the transition area where further care will be rendered. Based on assessment, if there is a need for further attention, the patient will then be transitioned into the ICU.
“In the ICU, we will be getting our ventilators, oxygen and other medical gases with appropriate beds and staffing,” Dr. Bovell highlighted.
Further, Director of Medical and Professional Services, Dr. Fawcett Jeffrey disclosed that an ICU facility is vital especially in the management of COVID-19, since many of those who contract the disease suffer from respiratory distress (shortness of breath).
“The management of patients who have to be on ventilators is being done at the Georgetown Public Hospital where we have a 14 bed Infectious Intensive Care Unit. But the Georgetown Hospital is overwhelmed because we have other things to take care of at that location,” Dr. Jeffrey said.
Once the ICU at the Infectious Diseases Hospital is up and running, the city hospital can continue its mandated duties, he said.