Ven­ti­la­tor cri­sis stalls Gweru Hospi­tal ICU

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Pa­trick Chi­tumba

THE con­struc­tion of Gweru Provin­cial Hospi­tal’s in­ten­sive care unit (ICU) has been com­pleted, but its open­ing has been de­layed by lack of ven­ti­la­tors.

The open­ing of the ICU is ex­pected to re­duce the num­ber of deaths re­lated to life threat­en­ing ill­nesses and in­juries in the Mid­lands prov­ince.

Gweru Provin­cial Hospi­tal Su­per­in­ten­dent Dr Fabian Mashin­gaidze yes­ter­day said the Gov­ern­ment was still to de­liver four ven­ti­la­tors that help pa­tients who are phys­i­cally un­able to breathe, or breath­ing with some dif­fi­culty to breathe.

Dr Mashin­gaidze said the new ICU would have three beds.

He said the Mid­lands State Univer­sity had en­gaged an anaes­thetist to work in the ICU.

“Ev­ery­thing is in place in the ICU at Gweru Provin­cial Hospi­tal. The only miss­ing things are four ven­ti­la­tors. You can ask Min­istry of­fi­cials on that is­sue.”

The Sec­re­tary for Health and Child Care, Dr Ger­ald Gwinji, said it would take about four months for the ven­ti­la­tors to be de­liv­ered to the hospi­tal.

“We ex­pect four ven­ti­la­tors for the hospi­tal in the con­text of the Chi­nese equip­ment sup­ply of which three will be de­ployed and one pro­vided as a backup. De­liv­ery is ex­pected within three to four months as these are com­ing as a full con­sign­ment with other pieces of equip­ment. In the mean­while we are look­ing at mov­ing at least two sets from in­sti­tu­tions with a bit of ex­cess ca­pac­ity to al­low the hospi­tal to op­er­ate its ICU,” he said.

Re­cently, Dr Mashin­gaidze said the ICU cares for crit­i­cal pa­tients and trans­porta­tion of such pa­tients is very risky be­cause the pa­tients will be in need of spe­cial treat­ment “right there.”

“So re­fer­ring them to Bu­l­awayo or Harare was very risky and with this new ICU, we will save lives,” he said.

Dr Mashin­gaidze said Gweru Provin­cial Hospi­tal was the big­gest re­fer­ral hospi­tal in the prov­ince lo­cated on one of the busiest high­ways in the coun­try – the Harare-Bu­l­awayo road and there­fore needed to have an ICU.

“An ICU caters for pa­tients with se­vere and lifethreat­en­ing ill­nesses and in­juries which re­quire con­stant, close mon­i­tor­ing and sup­port from spe­cial­ist equip­ment and med­i­ca­tions in or­der to en­sure nor­mal bod­ily func­tions. Com­mon con­di­tions that are treated within ICUs in­clude, trauma, mul­ti­ple or­gan fail­ure and sep­sis,” he said.— @pchi­tumba1.

Dr Ger­ald Gwinji

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