The burns ward of Victoria Hospital witnesses more than 100 deaths every month, of which around 60% is caused due to cross infection. As the casualty and the burns wards function from the same building, the instances of cross infection, especially among women, is very high, say experts.
According to a senior doctor in the hospital, 180-200 patients are admitted to the burns ward every month and there are three to five deaths every day — it means over a 100 deaths a month, or over 50% of the patients admitted there.
Despite several pleas, the authorities at Victoria Hospital have failed to separate the two ward. While the burns ward is in the first floor, the casualty wing is in the ground floor. Burns units are supposed to segregated from all other wards to avoid any cross infection.
The rise in the cross infection rate has been quite evident from the number of deaths in the burns ward. On an average 2-3 women are dying everyday in the burns unit, according to Vimochana, a forum for women rights that has been closely working with the ward for the past 18years. The 10 year record and documentation from 2000 to 2010 done by Vimochana shows that 10,000 women have died in the burns ward during these 10 years. The ward is open and there is hardly any restriction on the movement of people. With casualty patients coming in 24 hours a day, there is no check and this leads to the increase in infection rate.
Donna Fernandes of Vimochana said: “One of the primary concerns that we have repeatedly brought to the notice of the authorities is the urgent need to move the casualty section from its present location below the burns ward as it adds to the cross infection. The shifting would allow the use of the entire premises for the exclusive treatment of burns cases for rehabilitation and research.”
Representatives of the forum have also met the minister concerned, but there has bee no action. “We met the minister of medical education in October when it was assured that the casualty ward would be shifted out by the end of December 2013. But two months have gone by and no move has been made to shift it. Women continue to die and we need to address this on a war-footing,” she stressed.
Meanwhile, a senior doctor in the burns ward, too, agreed to the fact. “We have about 180-200 admission in the burns ward every month and a majority of them are women. There are about 3-5 deaths on a daily basis. The burns ward has a very limited space. There is a need to segregate the burns ward from casualty ward as there are high chances of cross infection,” the doctor told dna.