Tertiary care hospitals don’t want to own up H1N1 patients: Dir SKIMS  


Srinagar: Taking a dig at the specialty hospitals in Kashmir, Director SKIMS, Dr A G Ahanger Saturday said hospitals that are well equipped with the infrastructure and technology to treat patients with H1N1 infection, are trying to evade the blame by referring such patients to SKIMS for further treatment.

He said that these specialty hospitals are trying to walk out clean in such a ‘panicky’ situation.

Dr A G Ahanger was speaking during a briefing on status and treatment of H1N1 cases at SKIMS.

The Director said that hospital which are equipped with the infrastructure to deal with such diseases, are trying to ‘wash their hands off,’ and are referring patients to SKIMS, when they could have treated them there.

“The tertiary care hospitals in Kashmir can treat patients with H1N1 infection, but in order to avoid any blame, they are referring patients to SKIMS and in case there is any death, the blame comes directly onto us,” he said.

With SKIMS witnessing H1N1 cases on high scale, and apprehensions that more cases can crop up in future, it Saturday finally came up with a health update on H1N1 infection, aimed to aware the common masses about the same.

Briefing about the status and treatment of H1N1 cases was given by the Director SKIMS, Dr A G Ahanger, along with other heads of the departments.

According to the director SKIMS, the trend of H1N1 infection has changed, “it usually was witnessed during the month of January, however this time, it has come earlier, making it more challenging for us,” he said.

While asking general public to take precautionary measures, in order to avoid the infection, Director said “as per the advisory issued by the Directorate of Health Services, Kashmir, people are being advised to remain alert whenever the symptoms of flu tries to make its presence.”

He informed that so far there have been 24 cases that have been reported H1N1 positive, out of them 13 patients have been discharged, 5 are under treatment, while there have been 7 deaths.

He reiterated that there have been associated co-morbidities among the patients who died, “those who lost their lives were infected with H1NI, but there were other co-morbidities like leukaemia, malignancies, sepsis, acute respiratory syndrome, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which led to the weakness in their immune system,” he said adding that their deaths cannot be attributed to H1N1 infection.

During the briefing it was said that coming three months (December, January and February) are going to be crucial, as there are chances that more such cases can crop up, “the infection has changed its trend, and coming few months are going to be crucial, he said, adding that there was no need to panic.

When asked if there was any shortage of vaccines for H1N1, Director said “the vaccines are available and we are procuring the same as per the requirement.”

The doctors at SKIMS had complained that those medicos who were stationed at crucial spots in the hospital were not even vaccinated, Dr Ahanger said “those doctors who deal with such patients and are stationed at crucial places have been vaccinate, in addition, safety kits have been provided to them as well.”

During the briefing, the common masses were cautioned that the H1N1 vaccine should not be taken without the occurrence of desired symptoms, and should not be made ‘universal,’ “the vaccine is to be taken only after there is a presence of certain symptoms, patients who are on immuno-suppressor drugs are advised to take it,” he said.

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